Machine tool firm 600 Group sees profit and revenue grow

Paul Dupee, executive chairman of 600 Group, left. Pic: Phil Melia
Paul Dupee, executive chairman of 600 Group, left. Pic: Phil Melia
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Machine tool maker 600 Group saw underlying pre-tax profit and revenue from continuing operations grow in the year ended March 30, 2019.

Revenue from continuing operations was up 1.9 per cent to $65.2m with underlying pre-tax profit up to $4.1m. The Elland-based firm’s order book was up 6.5 per cent.

Paul Dupee, executive chairman of the 600 Group, said: “This has been a transformational year for the group with a number of major developments, both operationally and financially, supporting our strategy of building a global industrials business.

“These results demonstrate continued improvement in profitability and increasing revenues, which reflects our ongoing focus on driving operational efficiencies across the Group whilst also investing for growth as we move up the value chain.”

The firm launched a new European Technology Centre earlier this year as the business continues to focus on product innovation.

The new 58,000 sq ft site includes a modern, open plan office environment plus manufacturing and warehousing space.

It also includes a product showroom, demonstration area and customer training centre to showcase the business’ product range.

Mr Dupee said the move from Heckmondwike marks a step forward for the group as it seeks to create a more ‘flexible platform’ from which to leverage the strength of the group’s brands and grow the business into diversified niche markets internationally.

“This is an exciting development for the business, which reflects our continued strategy of simultaneously de-risking the group as well as creating a strong platform for growth,” he said. “This new facility will help foster product innovation and enable us to better showcase our leading capability to our customers.”

Mr Dupee said product innovation was central to its strategy for organic growth. It will focus on product development.

The Leeds office of property consultancy Dove Haigh Phillips concluded the deal for the new headquarters in February on behalf landlord Waddington & Ledger Group, which owns the site.

Last month, 600 Group bought American firm Control Micro Systems (CMS) for £8m, its first acquisition since it completed the buyout of its UK pension scheme liabilities to pave the way for future acquisitions.

CMS provides custom-designed and fully-automated laser process machines and systems to a diverse base of US and international blue-chip customers.

Mr Dupee said: “As announced on 24 June 2019, we were pleased to announce the acquisition of Control Micro Systems.

“CMS is highly complementary to the group’s existing laser business and will further enhance our customer offering as we seek to capture world-wide growth in the use of industrial lasers.”

Industrial lasers provide a large market opportunity as laser systems become a mainstream and integral manufacturing process, 600 Group believes.

CMS was acquired from founder and sole owner Tim Miller, who will remain with the business for a minimum period of three years to oversee the transition and provide technical expertise.

Gross margin improved 2.4 per cent to 36.1 per cent in the year ended March 30, 2019, the business said.

Mr Dupee said: “The 600 Group continues to go from strength to strength, we have a clear strategy for the future, and I look forward to reporting on future progress.”