A Fylde coast polymers specialist has seen its annual profits rise by four per cent despite the challenges of international currency markets and the troubles hitting the oil and gas market due to falling prices.
Victrex, based at the former ICI site at Hillhouse, Thornton, saw its full year pre-tax profits rise to £106.4m for the financial year ended 30 September 2015 from £102.7m the previous year.
The company said it was well positioned for the coming year with a diverse range of products despite slow-down in demand for products for the oil and gas market and a consolidation in the US medical market which it also supplies.
Its sales volume of 4,217 tonnes was 19 per cent ahead of the previous year’s 3,551 tonnes, with revenues increasing to £263.5m compared to 2014’s £252.6m.
David Hummel, chief executive, said: “2015 was a good year overall for Victrex, where our strong and balanced portfolio helped to drive growth, fully overcoming the significant headwinds we faced from foreign currency, weaker oil and gas and US medical industry consolidation.
“Our development pipeline is strong and continues to offer significant long term potential, alongside our 7,000 tonnes of PEEK capacity, our technical excellence and our application development know-how. We will make further downstream manufacturing investments this year to support our pipeline. These investments, to underpin Aerospace, Magma and medical manufacturing programmes, will further differentiate Victrex and continue our transition to become a solutions provider.
“We are pleased to be announcing a new capital allocation framework today, which prioritises investment for growth, but offers the opportunity for enhanced shareholder returns.
“Looking forward, Victrex continues to differentiate itself, through technical excellence, application development know-how and our significant upstream and downstream manufacturing capacity.
“At this early stage, we are mindful that industry challenges in oil and gas and Invibio may continue during the first half. For 2016 as a whole however, we remain well positioned for year on year progress.”