Polypipe revenues outstrip rest of the UK sector

POLYPIPE, one of Europe’s biggest manufacturers of plastic pipe systems,​ said its revenues grew eight times faster than the rest of the UK construction ​sector last year, boosted by a range of new products and its entry into new markets.

​​The Doncaster-based ​firm said turnover rose eight per cent to £233m in the year to December 31, up from £216m the year before.

This was considerably ahead of the CPA’s estimated UK construction market recovery of one per cent in 2013.

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Polypipe said its success was due to greater uptake of its plastic plumbing systems and water management solutions.

The company has seen strong demand for its pipes following regulations that favour plastic pipes over copper and concrete.

Polypipe said its plastic pipes are thinner, lighter and stronger than clay or concrete and far less appealing to thieves than traditional copper pipes.

The firm has been successful in developing new markets for plastic piping systems including carbon efficient and water management solutions.

This has given the firm positive growth at a time when others have struggled.

It has also been boosted by the general pick-up in the UK housing market and Government initiatives such as Help to Buy.

​Founded in 1980, Polypipe is now one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of plastic piping systems, producing over 20,000 product lines which are used in the residential, commercial and infrastructure sectors.

The company’s pre-tax profits rose 14 per cent to £36.4m from £32m.

Operating profits rose by £5m to £36.9m.

This was on the back of the rise in turnover and returns from increased capital expenditure to reduce material costs and improve operations.

Capital expenditure rose 33 per cent to £18.4m.

The directors said they are happy with the group’s performance and its future prospects.

No dividend was paid.

The group​, which​ operates 16 facilities across the UK, Europe and Middle East​,​ floated on April 15, marking a return to the stock market after a 15-year absence.

Analysts said that Yorkshire is spearheading the Government’s drive to expand the manufacturing sector and rebalance the economy.

Analyst Eric Burns, at WH Ireland, said: “Polypipe is a long-standing name in Yorkshire manufacturing. This region has a great heritage as one of the leading manufacturing areas in the UK.”

Polypipe has a strong brand following.

The latest Superbrands survey revealed it was one of 11 Yorkshire institutions to make it into the top ranks of the UK’s most elite brands.

Polypipe is championing British manufacturing at a time when many companies have pulled out of the UK.

The group employs 1,100 people at its biggest site in Doncaster and another 800 at 15 other sites including Lincolnshire, Loughborough and Kent.

“Our aspirations don’t rely on the market picking up,” said Polypipe’s chief executive David Hall.

“There is a demand for more modern materials as new regulations have come into force in the UK.”