Resilient year for polymers producer

Victrex's Thornton plant
Victrex's Thornton plant
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High tech plastics firm Victrex has reported sales up despite a challenging year.

The Thornton based business which announced expansion plans this time last year, grew sales by one per cent to £221.9m with pre-tax profit at £94.6m up by £0.1m.

It’s figures to the end of September showed sales volumes grew to 2,920 tonnes from 2,904 thanks to a strong second half when there was a 10 per cent rise.

Anita Frew, Chairman of Victrex which has two divisions at Thronton; Invibio Biomaterials and Victrex Polymer Solution, was upbeat.

She said: “I am pleased to report that we delivered a resilient performance at Victrex this year, with good underlying trading and improvement in the second half year.

“This has been a year of investment in our business to accelerate and underpin our future growth; investment in new capacity, in innovation and in new talent, to build, enhance and further differentiate our capabilities now and into the future.

“Whilst continuing to invest, we were able to maintain our strong profitability, with record cash generation and strong margins.

“Whilst it remains early in our new financial year, our momentum from the second half of 2013 has continued, with good underlying growth in VPS and recovery in Invibio. Although we remain mindful of the wider macro-economic environment, we are encouraged by the potential across our business.”

The company’s plastics are used in a wide variety of fields from smartphones, aeroplanes and cars to oil & gas operations and medical devices.

It said the new facilities at Thornton, – the PEEK plant project remains on plan, for completion during 2015, and budget, £90m, increasing production capacity from 4,250 tonnes to in excess of 7,000 tonnes.

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