Manufacturing a big rise in performance

Antimicrobial taps: Pegler Yorkshire Managing Director, Stuart Anderson, shows a range of the company's products to Deputy Governor of Monetary Policy at the Bank of England, Charlie Bean, during a visit earlier this year.
Antimicrobial taps: Pegler Yorkshire Managing Director, Stuart Anderson, shows a range of the company's products to Deputy Governor of Monetary Policy at the Bank of England, Charlie Bean, during a visit earlier this year.
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Sales and profits have continued to improve for the Sheffield region’s top manufacturers, according to the latest research by Sheffield University Management School.

The Top 50 Manufacturing and Engineering Companies rankings, published in Star Business today, show total profits up from £1.8 million in 2011 to £130 million, on sales up from £3.2 billion at £4.4 billion.

Forty out of the Top 50 companies are making profits – a similar number to last year – while the number of the Top 20 manufacturing employers making losses has fallen – from around one in three to one in four.

Companies at the top of the turnover rankings remain largely the same, with Sheffield-based stainless steel manufacturer Outokumpu leading the way, followed by Doncaster-based trailer manufacturer Ballyvesey Holdings.

Meanwhile, metallurgical products company London & Scandinavian has risen up the table after more than doubling its turnover and more than trebling its profits.

Half of the manufacturers in this year’s rankings are newcomers – double the number of newcomers last year.

Newcomers towards the top of the table include some major players and well-known names such as Wavin, the Dutch group which now owns plastic plumbing, clay and plastic drainage systems specialist Hepworth, Pegler Yorkshire, CPL Industries, GRI Group and Jeld-Wen UK.

The last 12 months has seen Pegler Yorkshire become the first company in the UK to develop antimicrobial taps which are designed to cut the risks of infections spreading in hospitals, while also preventing staff scalding their hands.

The taps are made from copper, which has an inherent ability to kill bacteria.

Earlier this year, GRI Group, the Sheffield-based chemicals manufacturer and distributor, reported it had increased sales from continuing operations by 54 per cent to £115.5 million, despite raw material, fuel and energy prices continuing to increase, adding more pressure on margins.

Around two years ago the company acquired Manchester-based Libra Chemicals, which makes a range of chemicals used in industrial, personal care and household care applications, after selling a 70 per cent stake in one of its subsidiaries for more than £18 million.