Velden Chips in with Record Year

Velden Chips in with Record Year

February 7, 2012

Major Investment Paves Way For Growth

A surge in demand for microchips has helped engineering firm Velden deliver a bumper rise in annual turnover to a record £7.9m, the company said today.

The Bolton-based sub-contractor, which supplies machine parts to a range of industries including power generation, data centres and oil extraction, said it performed well across the board last year and has a record order book.

Trading in 2011 was boosted thanks to a £2m contract at the end of 2010 from the semiconductor industry, which encouraged the company to invest in new machinery.

Sales in 2011 were Velden’s best since the company was founded in 1972, having soared from £5.2m in 2010, and £2.9m in 2009.

After breaking even in 2009, pre-tax profits have also risen from £624,000 in 2010 to £1.185m in 2011.

Managing director Austin Kitchen said: “The business has done well generally but a large microchip order from Samsung about 18 months ago saw the rest of the market respond, and from that we received an order big enough to allow us to invest.

“If we maximise the resources we have now, we believe we can deliver turnover of £10m without increasing our overheads.”

In the last 14 months, the company has invested £1m in two machines, a solar panel energy system, and has rolled out a bespoke job-tracking IT system on the factory floor. It has also increased its workforce from 50 to 80.

The investment programme has been overseen by Austin, who took over at the helm in 2009 from his father, Velden chairman, Alex.

Austin said: “We have been improving our IT systems which has enabled us to manage sales better and improve customer service. It is also helping us secure more business and we are hoping to get to the point where we can supply live information to the customer.

“We are an A-rated supplier with blue-chip companies and we are gearing up to be a one stop shop, meeting all subcontract engineering requirements.”

Velden gained national fame in 1990s when it was featured as a success story of the BBC ‘Troubleshooter’ programme, with the late Sir John Harvey-Jones. It has since grown as a business and acquired Bolton-based Ronco Precision Engineering in 2006.

Austin said: “We now have the best order book we’ve ever had and we setting ourselves up against any downturns in the future.”

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