Diversification helps keep the Pressure on

An F-22 RaptorAn F-22 Raptor
An F-22 Raptor
ENGINEER Pressure Technologies said its cylinders division has driven “strong growth” in revenues and profits, while it expressed “considerable optimism” for the future of the group.

Recent deals won by the company’s Chesterfield Special Cylinders (CSC) division include a contract to supply the US Air Force with high-pressure cylinders for its fleet of F-22 Raptors and an agreement with the Royal Navy to provide cylinders for its sixth Astute Class nuclear submarine, HMS Agamemnon.

Sheffield-based Pressure Technologies, which makes pro-ducts ranging from gas cylinders for oil rigs to components used in valves, said yesterday revenue across the group was up 30 per cent year-on-year to £16.4m in the 26 weeks to March 30 2013, while pre-tax profits climbed to £1.33m from £460,000.

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Alan Wilson, chairman of Pressure Technologies, said: “The interim results show the benefits of the board’s diversification strategy and these, combined with ongoing opportunities, give us considerable optimism for the future.”

He added: “Alongside our focus on organic growth, we have explored a number of acquisition opportunities in the first half.

“As yet, none have fulfilled the board’s risk versus reward criteria and further opportunities are being evaluated.”

Mr Wilson said that the cylinders division benefited from the “continued recovery” in its offshore and gas activity, coupled with “strong activity” in defence. He said these resulted in “significant” sales and profit growth that was ahead of its expectations.

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The group said it had maintained “a strong balance sheet” with net cash of £2.7m. An interim dividend of 2.6p per share will be paid on August 8 to shareholders on the share register at the close of business on July 12.

Mr Wilson said: “The strength of the balance sheet combined with the positive trading outlook has allowed the board to continue with its progressive dividend policy.”

Mr Wilson said that overall market conditions within the group’s dominant sector, offshore oil and gas, remain “buoyant”.

He added that opportunities across all the group’s markets are “good”, adding: “Our ongoing investment in new products and services will broaden our customer spread and ensure that the group is well positioned to deliver further growth.”

Mr Wilson recently took over the role of chairman of the Alternative Investment Market-listed company from Richard Shacklady.