Why three South Yorkshire firms are top for profits

Irving Weaver Strata Homes
Irving Weaver Strata Homes
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Investing in people instead of handing money to shareholders has helped a Sheffield business report surging profits, its director has said.

Abbey Forged Products in Oughtibridge is one of three South Yorkshire firms listed in the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table.

They have all been included for recording some of the strongest profits of any private British firms over the past three years.

Abbey Forged Products, a forgemaster for the oil and gas industry based in Oughtibridge, was included at number 15 in the list for posting a profit of £17.2 million, with profit growth of 91 per cent over three years.

Jackie Neal, managing director and part owner of the firm, put the success down to investment in the business and its employees, leading to expansion.

She said: “We have worked hard to stay up there and invest in the business.

“I think we can say that it has paid off so far. It’s a family company and we have brought those values to the table.

“What we do is not give money to shareholders, it’s going back to the company.

“As a result we have expanded massively over the last 10 years. It has been quite difficult, the oil and gas market has dipped and everybody in the industry is feeling the effects of that.

“We just try to keep ourselves at the forefront and we have done it while getting things like the investors in people award.”

Glass Recyling UK is the highest-placed South Yorkshire firm on the list, at number eight in the top 100.

The company processes up to 250,000 bottles an hour at its main depot in Barnsley, collected from 7,000 bottle banks across Britain. Under joint managing directors Michael Durr, aged 51, and Arran Sykes, 32, profits increased an average of 111 per cent to hit £6.3m in 2013.

Strata Homes has been boosted by the recent resurgence of the housing market. It posted a £9.4million profit in 2013, followed by £9.5million in 2014.

The Doncaster firm, based on Lakeside Boulevard near Bessacar, is 51st on the Profit 100 list with a growth in profits of 59 per cent over three years, up to £9.4m profit in the year to December 2013.

Chairman Irving Weaver said the firm’s recent profit boom, coming after struggles in the recession, is just the start - with expectations of growth right up to 2020, spurred on by housing schemes like right-to-buy.

He said: “Housebuilding is very much in the political scene. We have a strong market in housebuilding because there is under-supply, not just in Yorkshire but across the UK.

“2008 was dramatic, we had to reduce our output by 50 per cent. When you are fighting the fire, you don’t know how long it’s going to take to put it out.

“By 2011, we just broke even. By 2014 it was £9.5million profit. We think there is a strong case for growth to 2020. In fact, that’s our target.

“The Government has realised it can kick off a big supply chain with housebuilding - furniture, carpets, brick manufacturers, builders. We get the economy going.

“In the next five years, whoever is in power, there’s going to be a drive for housebuilding.”