Steel group can return to strong trading, says boss

Sheffield Forgemasters, Sheffield..8th May 2013.Picture by Simon Hulme
Sheffield Forgemasters, Sheffield..8th May 2013.Picture by Simon Hulme
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THE chief executive of Sheffield Forgemasters said the firm had a “realistic prospect” of returning to strong trading conditions, following speculation that it could be rescued by an arm of the Chinese state.

Graham Honeyman also said that he wanted to “preserve this company for Sheffield”, the firm’s stakeholders and its 760-strong workforce.

A report in The Sunday Times had claimed that an un-named Chinese state-backed steel firm was believed to be among the bidders for Forgemasters, which has a turnover of around £80m.

Yesterday, Mr Honeyman re-iterated that the “long-term strategy of this business has always included discussions with partner businesses and potential investors globally, to seek further financing of the company and to protect its future.

“This process will continue and all such talks will remain confidential until we reach a conclusion to that process.”

He added: “Sheffield Forgemasters is still the world leader in the supply of offshore castings to the oil and gas sectors and although this market is subdued, there will at some point be a rise in oil and gas values as global demand for energy continues to build.

“We continue to produce the largest cast nodes ever manufactured, allowing offshore explorations to push into deeper and more hostile waters.”