Record year for Fylde coast polymers maker

Victrex of Thornton
Victrex of Thornton

A Fylde coast plastics specialist has reported record half year profits - thanks to rising sale and a boost from the weakness of the pound.

High performance polymer maker Victrex which is a major exporter said a tailwind from currency exchange helped push its pre-tax profits for the period ending March 31 to £63.3m, up by 26 per cent from £50.1m.

Jakob Sigurdsson

Jakob Sigurdsson

Group revenue was £166.6m up from £130.9m in the first half of 2017, a rise of 27 per cent.

group sales volume was 2,256 tonnes up 21 per cent on 2017’s first half figures.

The Thornton-based firm said its sales were driven by core growth and new applications.

Its PEEK and PAEK plastics are used in a variety of applications from mobile phone screens to car and aircraft parts as well as medical and oil and gas.

Jakob Sigurdsson, Chief Executive of Victrex, said: “This has been a record first half, with broad based growth across our industrial markets, offset by weakness in medical.

"I am also pleased to report several milestones in our new product pipeline, including a supply agreement in dental to help gain greater market access, the first parts for our gears mega-programme and a deployment for our Magma oil and gas programme, together with a new long term opportunity offshore Brazil.

“After six months as CEO, it is clear that alongside having a strong core polymer business, by moving further downstream through our polymer and parts strategy we are further differentiating Victrex in a competitive market.

“With strong cash generation, our first priority is to continue investing to support future growth, as well as reviewing partnership and acquisition opportunities.

“Alongside our ability to invest, our cash generation continues to offer the opportunity of attractive returns to shareholders, and we expect to update on distribution options at the end of the year.

“Looking towards the remainder of 2018, currency will be much less of a tailwind compared to the first half and we are also mindful of the currency headwind for 2019.”