Renishaw misses sales targets

An engineering firm with more than 2,500 staff said costs and recruitment will be “closely monitored” after it missed its sales targets over the summer.

Renishaw, which makes products enabling measurements to be taken to international standards, reported revenues of £70.5m for the three months to September 30, up 15 per cent on a year ago but below planned-for levels.

Higher costs, driven by a year-on-year rise in headcount of 538 to 2,745, caused pre-tax profits to fall to £13.6m from £15.1m a year ago.

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The Far East, which was an area of significant growth for Renishaw last year, showed revenues flat on the same period a year ago, while the company also reported a slowdown in one of its product lines sold to the electronics sector.

Its order book stood at £31.9m at the end of September after its intake of new business exceeded revenues in the quarter.

The company said: “Due to uncertainties surrounding the global economy, the board is closely monitoring the group’s costs and future recruitment strategy.

“Despite near-term challenges caused by the economic environment, we remain focused on positioning the group for further long-term growth.”

The Gloucestershire-based firm, which has offices in 31 countries and some 95 per cent of its sales outside the UK, was set up in 1973 by Sir David McMurtry, who remains chairman and chief executive, and John Deer, who is now deputy chairman. Its first product was invented by Sir David to solve a specific inspection requirement for the Olympus engines used on the Concorde aircraft.