Engineering and Manufacturing

Circuit board manufacturer remains confident in current crisis

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 24 June 2020 5:51

Circuit board manufacturer remains confident in current crisis

“We are laying the foundations for future growth and remain confident” is the message relayed from a Gloucestershire manufacturer for the telecommunications, aviation, automotive and defence sectors.

The Tewkesbury-based business, which makes printed circuit boards for customers around the world, including USA, Australia, Europe and China, nevertheless reported a drop in revenues from £2.91m from £3.47m in 2018.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic Trackwise said it had “temporarily held” discretionary investment plans, the recruitment of new staff and pay rises, adding that the pandemic “continues to be, a testing time for us all”.

But it highlighted its first production order for IHT from electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, completion of Stevenage Circuits Limited acquisition (earlier this year) to enable ramp up of IHT production and successful fundraise of £5.87m, and “a strong financial position” as reason to "have confidence that the benefits of IHT will deliver strong growth in the medium term”.

Revenues from Improved Harness Technology ("IHT"), the key growth area for Trackwise, were up 55 per cent to £0.94m (2018: £0.61m).

Philip Johnston (pictured below), CEO of Trackwise, said: "Despite the economic headwinds faced in 2019, we made encouraging progress against our strategy, with our globally unique IHT technology gaining traction and significant capability and capacity improvements being made that position us well for the future.  

“That momentum continued into 2020, with our first IHT production order secured in February, a successful fundraise in March and the completion of the acquisition of Stevenage Circuits Limited in April.

"While we have inevitably experienced some disruption to normal trading patterns since the outbreak of the pandemic and remain cautious about the potential impact of the uncertain global economic outlook on our performance in the second half, our pipeline of opportunities remains healthy.

“We continue to take steps to lay the foundations for future growth and remain confident that as soon as more normal conditions return, we will be in a strong position to capitalise on increasing demand and deliver long-term, sustainable growth.”

Its final results, for the year to December 31 2019, published this week, also had this to say about its staff and the pandemic.

“I would like to pay personal tribute to all of our staff who have adapted to this stressful situation with professionalism and good humour and continued to work with commitment, despite inevitable concerns regarding personal safety and the safety of their loved ones.”

IHT uses a proprietary, patented process that Trackwise has developed to manufacture multilayer flexible printed circuits of unlimited length.

The company manufactures on two sites in Tewkesbury and Stevenage (following the acquisition of Stevenage Circuits Ltd in April 2020).  

Trackwise Designs plc was admitted to trading on AIM in 2018.