Steel group hails £50m investment

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SHEFFIELD Forgemasters has reached an investment milestone as it gears up for economic recovery.

Bosses at Forgemasters have pumped £50m into improving the company’s equipment and processes, since carrying out a management buyout in September 2005.

Neil Maskrey, Forgemasters’ chief financial officer, said yesterday: “From day one, this company’s business strategy has hinged around the supply of high quality, complex engineered products to niche markets.”

The capital investment programme has been made possible by the company’s policy of re-investing its profits back into the business, with the support of its shareholders. All the shareholders work for the company, including a large proportion of the 800-strong shop floor and staff workforce.

Mr Maskrey added: “It is a great milestone for us. It is already paying dividends in terms of the level and complexity of innovative projects that we are geared up to undertake. It has been supported by the creation of our seventh subsidiary, Sheffield Forgemasters RD26, which specialises in research and development.

“The decision to maintain our levels of investment into plant and equipment during these harsh economic times is a strategic measure, to enable us to capitalise on improved trading conditions when the global economic downturn starts to reverse. There are no dividends taken by any of this company’s shareholders.”

The company recently installed lifting equipment and beam-slung cranes into the ‘melt shop’, where all its molten steel is produced.