Profits treble at cylinder company

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Hi-tech cylinders, engineered products and green energy group Pressure Technologies has trebled its pre-tax profits and is looking for businesses to buy.

The Sheffield-based company says sales hit record levels, rising from £23.1 million to £30.4 million for the year to the end of September, while profits increased from £0.6 million to £1.8 million.

Pressure Technologies’ success comes days after the company announced it had won a contract to make safety-critical oxygen cylinders for the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

The high-pressure cylinders form a vital part of the 1,500 mile an hour Raptor’s new back-up oxygen supply system.

Chairman Richard Shacklady says the company’s cylinders division rebounded strongly in 2012, but its engineered products division is now poised to become the largest part of the group. The division, comprising two businesses the group acquired two years ago, specialises in making precision-engineered wear parts for valves used in the oil and gas industries and high-pressure equipment for the same sector.

Mr Shacklady said: “The engineered products division is poised for further growth; the facility in North America has been re-structured and is positioned to take advantage of a buoyant US market for its well control products.

“Additionally, the seabed well control equipment market has rebounded after a period of stagnation and orders from this sector are particularly buoyant.”

Mr Shacklady said Pressure Technologies was continuing to seek acquisitions that suited its profile and would fit into and enhance its engineered products division.

Pressure Technologies expects the growth of its cylinders division to slow, but says the business has a large forward order book, market leadership in the defence sector and growth in diversified markets.

The company says 2013 will be a crucial year for its alternative energy business, Chesterfield BioGas.

“The board believes that there is major UK potential for this technology in the longer term, however regular reviews on the division’s progress are being undertaken and we recognise that 2013 is a crucial year for Chesterfield BioGas,” said Mr Shacklady.

“Chesterfield BioGas has been very active throughout the year promoting and tendering for biogas upgrade plant and enjoys a high profile in this market. Demand for UK biogas upgrade plant is still in early phase development with, so far, limited conversion from the project stage.”