Sheffield Forgemasters has passed a £50 million milestone.
That is the amount that has been invested in the Brightside Lane-based steel and engineering business since the buy-out in 2005 which put the company into the hands of it management and a large proportion of its 800 strong workforce.
Following the buyout, none of the new owners has taken a dividend from the company’s profits which, instead, have been used to fund the investment programme.
Chief financial officer Neil Maskrey said: “Fifty million pounds is a great milestone for us and it is already paying dividends in terms of the level and complexity of innovative projects that we are geared up to undertake.
“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.
“It is a very bold strategy and of course, it carries some risk, but a reduction in reinvestment is not an option for us.
“The capital investment initiative is not just essential in a business with this kind of material heritage, it is paramount to keep up with the cutting edge work of our research and development team in seeking out state–of-the-art engineering solutions and creating new products.”
Major investments have included a 4,000 tonne press costing £9.1 million, a £15.5 million investment in ‘loose tooling’, including moulds for higher integrity ingots, and tooling to create more diverse forged products on the company’s 4,000 and 10,000 tonne presses.
Forgemasters has also invested in research equipment, new businesses and environmental improvements, including improved dust extraction and a wildlife area.