Engineering and Manufacturing
Tech firm on track to keep jobs and grow
With everything going the ongoing success of a Gloucestershire firm putting the county on the map almost went unsung, but hopefully this will help make up for it.
It is a measure of our times when we celebrate not percentages of profit or increases in turnover but how resilient a company is and what its view is of the road ahead.
Tewkesbury-based Trackwise, which manufactures printed circuit technology and employs an estimated 40-plus staff, has won a Queen’s Awards for export in the past and trades world-wide in sectors including telecommunications, aviation, automotive and defence.
Its most recent results describe a business which continues to be ambitious in its targets and optimistic in its outlook, but significantly has the line many would like to hear.
“We have ensured that we are keeping our staff as safe as we can and have enacted all the guidelines that the Government has set down,” said Ian Griffiths, non executive chairman, in his statement heading up the company’s annual report.
“The period under review in this financial report has been characterised by great changes from Brexit, through increased challenges of global warming and now the threat to the world's economies from Covid-19. The uncertainty has increased dramatically.
“The company has reacted to these challenges well with our recent placing ensuring the continued development of the business.”
To go back to the usual headline focus - the figures – the company saw revenue fall from £3,468,000 to £2,906,000 and adjusted operating profits down from £0.32m to £0.25m.
But the year included highlights such as the acquisition of Stevenage Circuits and fundraising of £5.9m.
There was a signed collaboration with GKN Aerospace, which it describes as “the world's leading multi-technology tier one aerospace supplier”.
There was broad growth of its IHT technology, supported by technical, capacity and capability advancements, growing customer interest and series production and total customers and opportunities in this sector increased to 72 (2018: 31).
And the medical appliances sector emerged as second sector for customer accretion.
“Our progress was further demonstrated with the announcement, post year end, of a first production order from a UK based manufacturer of electric vehicles for our IHT flexible printed circuit technology applied to battery harnesses of their rapidly growing fleet of electric vans which follows successful funded development activities during the past year.
“The electric vehicle industry is one of several growth industries for Trackwise and we were delighted to be selected by an innovator in this field.
“Our overall financial progress in the year was held back by global economic factors that impacted our RF business in particular.
“These included the trade challenges between China and the USA, the pressure from Huawei on our customer base and the enduring disputes over the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint in the USA.
“Nonetheless, the depth of our customer base provided us with a level of resilience and new opportunities presented themselves during the year. The investments made in new equipment are of benefit to both IHT and non-IHT revenue streams,” said Mr Griffiths.
And wanting to sign off on a high note, we will end with this statement: “We look forward to the medium term with confidence and in the meantime, we will continue to develop our markets which are increasingly looking to our company to meet their interconnector needs.
“To achieve this, we will continue to invest in our team's resources and welfare. Our team's response in the Covid-19 crisis has been first class.”