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News » Plant » Order book lifts spirits at loss-making Tanfield » published 12 Apr 2012

Order book lifts spirits at loss-making Tanfield

Tanfield Group, manufacturer of Snorkel and formerly UpRight aerial work platforms, moved a little closer to breaking even last year.

The pre-tax loss for the year to 31 December 2011 of £16.3m was not much better than 2010’s loss of £16.7m, but gross margins improved from 29% to 37%.

Turnover increased 11% to £48.3m (2010: £43.5m). The company said that growth was constrained by “supply chain challenges” but a share placing last month raised £12m to address this.

Healthiest indicator is the order book, at £30.5m at year-end, compared to £7.7m the year before.

Chairman Jon Pither said: "Demand for aerial lifts began to return in key markets during 2011 and grew as the year progressed, clearly demonstrated by the order book we brought into 2012.

"Bottlenecks within the supply chain slowed our rate of growth, but Tanfield still made good progress towards its near-term break-even target. The Company has recently raised additional funds to eliminate significant supply chain constraints and the Board is confident that this will accelerate Tanfield's growth in 2012."

Chief executive Darren Kell said: “Customers began to return in key markets in early 2011 and we delivered an increase in sales of 25% in the first half. Demand further increased in the second half of the year, but we were unable to accelerate our production capacity due to weakness in the industry's supply chain. This is evidenced both in our sales growth for the year and the £30.5m order book we carried into 2012 - almost four times the order book at the end of 2010.

“We continued to execute our strategy of enhancing the Snorkel product portfolio, launching a new range of boom lifts that share a common chassis. We have appointed a dedicated team to target Latin America, which continues to experience strong growth in the adoption of aerial work platforms; and strengthened our sales team in North America.”


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This article was published on 12 Apr 2012 (last updated on 12 Apr 2012).

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