Sales Growth for Doncaster Manufacturer

Pegler Yorkshire, a manufacturer of advanced plumbing, heating and engineering products, has increased turnover by 1.25 per cent to £140.2m, up from £138.5m in 2015 in the year to 31 December 2016.

The increase was the first growth in the business’ sales since 2011, having dropped from a turnover of £154m in the year ending 31 December 2011.

The growth in turnover has come from a boost to export markets, while the UK remained flat against the previous year.

Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation decreased by 37.3 per cent to £4.5m  from the 2015 total of £6.2m.

The fall in the value of the pound arising immediately after the European elections was said to have had an adverse impact on the results.

The result for the year includes a £700,000 rationalisation cost in relation to the full closure of Pegler’s Leeds manufacturing site.

An exceptional credit of £1.8m was released through cost of sales with a further £1.1m released through administration expenses relating to an insurance claim, following a flood at the Leeds facility on 26 December 2015.

The company’s strategic report said: “Despite the FX impact from the devaluation of the pound, the Pegler group has delivered a strong result in 2017 and has a solid base to continue the development of its performance into 2017 and beyond.

“The company strategy to deliver new advanced technology into key markets supported by exceptional customer service will provide a basis to attract new customers in the future.”

Source: Insider Media, October 2017

UKEF announces further Funding Support for SMEs

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is launching a new partnership with five major high street banks to allow smaller businesses to access millions of pounds in government-backed trade finance.

UKEF, as part of the Department for International Trade, provides financial support to help UK companies sell to international customers.

The new partnership with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS/NatWest and Santander was initially agreed in July.

For the first time companies which supply exporters will be able to access UKEF-backed finance to help them to become part of major export contracts.

The partnership is able to offer finance for up to £2m and SMEs can access UKEF support directly from their bank quickly and efficiently, without the need to apply separately.

Where previously it could take weeks in addition to the banks’ own turnaround times to access this support, it will now take a matter of seconds where an application for finance is eligible.

UK SMEs that aren’t yet selling overseas but are supplying products directly to those who are, will also be able to qualify for UKEF support.

Secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and giving them the support they need to seize international trading opportunities is a priority for the Department for International Trade as an international economic department.

“That’s why we’re partnering with the five major high street banks to make government-backed finance from UK Export Finance readily available, in a matter of seconds, opening up new global contracts to businesses across the UK.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), added: “Through our work with the secretary of state for international trade, I am delighted to see the government’s plans to improve access to export finance.

“The success of the UK economy rests on helping more small businesses to export, and export more. FSB research shows 20 per cent of UK small firms already export, and with the right support this could double.

He added: “Today’s announcement of faster and more readily available finance means more small businesses will be able to access growth markets around the world.

“Small firms’ contribution to the UK’s export market is of course not limited to those that sell products overseas.

“Our research highlights that one in six of all UK small businesses also form part of a supply chain of which the end product is exported, so opening up export finance to this group of firms is great news.”

Source: Insider Media, October 2017

Women take centre stage for new STEM Centre opening

Sheffield Hallam University officially opened its new STEM Centre last night, naming the regional hub of excellence for science, technology, engineering and maths after a prominent female inventor.

Hertha Ayrton was a nineteenth century award winning British engineer, mathematician and physicist, as well as being a prominent feminist activist.

The £11m Hertha Ayrton STEM Centre includes cutting edge robotics, automotive, electrical and biosciences laboratories, 11,500m sq of floor space for teaching and a stunning new atrium. It is located in a prominent position directly opposite Sheffield Station.

The name of the centre demonstrates the University’s commitment to encouraging more women to take up STEM subjects – where nationally male students and professionals still far exceed female ones.

More than 200 guests from industry, education and politics attended to see the Institution of Mechanical Engineers President, Carolyn Griffiths, unveil a plaque to commemorate the event.

Carolyn Griffiths said: “It is vitally important that young people, but in particular young women, are encouraged to study STEM subjects and work in these industries. Everyone benefits from having a diverse workforce, whether that’s in the classroom or in the workshops or the boardrooms.


“Sheffield Hallam is a particular institution championing women in STEM; they have some outstanding students and now truly remarkable facilities with the opening of the Hertha Ayrton STEM Centre.”

As well as achieving the prestigious Athena SWAN charter status for commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEM in higher education and research, Sheffield Hallam has provided bursaries and scholarships aimed at encouraging more women to pursue a career in STEM subjects. 

Rhiannon Jones, a recent graduate in electrical engineering, who hosted the opening event said: “Having studied here and benefitted from a bursary specifically for women studying STEM subjects, I was delighted be involved in opening the new facilities. The support really made a difference, allowing the completion of my degree and a transition into a career in industry.”

Professor Chris Husbands, Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This is a fabulous new asset for the region. It reinforces Sheffield Hallam’s place at the leading-edge of industry collaboration, teaching and research.

“Its position – at the gateway to the University – is a symbol of the importance we attach to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for all. Naming the centre after Hertha Ayrton, a genuinely pioneering woman engineer, encapsulates the values which are at the heart of everything we do.

“Sheffield Hallam is passionate about the highest quality learning environments, giving everyone access to the best opportunities, so that all students, regardless of race, disability or gender, can flourish.”

Picture Caption:

  • Professor Chris Husbands, engineering student Katrina Love, recent graduate and event host Rhiannon Jones, and IMechE President Carolyn Griffiths
  • The new Hertha Ayrton STEM Centre



Liberty House appoints UK Steel Division Chief Executive

International metals group Liberty House has appointed a prominent industry figure as the new chief executive of its UK steel division.

Jon Bolton, formerly Liberty’s director of UK steel development, has taken on the role following major acquisitions by the group over recent months, he has been given overall responsibility for the expanded and restructured steel business in the UK.

Liberty, part of the GFG Alliance, now has three steel operations in the UK – rolled products, speciality steels and pipes – each with its own chief executive.

Peter Hogg, previously chief operations officer of Liberty Speciality Steels, will take on the role of chief executive for that division. VB Garg is chief executive of rolled products, while James Annal was recently appointed chief executive of the pipes division.

Bolton has more than 30 years’ steel industry experience both in the UK and internationally, including senior positions with Tata Steel and its predecessors Corus and British Steel.

In addition to his company role, he is chair of the employers group, UK Steel, and jointly chairs the UK Steel Council along with the Secretary of State for Business

Energy and Industrial Strategy, advising government and providing strategic leadership to the sector.

Prior to joining Liberty in Spring 2017, Hogg had operated in key positions with Tata Steel UK and its predecessor companies as well as with British Steel at Scunthorpe. His responsibility includes the furnaces and mills at Rotherham and Stocksbridge, downstream processing at Wednesbury and service centres in Bolton and China.

As chief executive of Liberty Rolled Products, VB Garg is responsible for the group’s operations in Newport, Tredegar, Dalzell, Clydebridge and Scunthorpe, while James Annal, leads the Pipes Division, centred on Hartlepool.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group and GFG Alliance, said: “Following our expansion in the UK over the past two years, we are now able to serve the market with a full range of long and flat products and we are very pleased and encouraged to have such a talented and experienced management team to lead these excellent operations.”



Barnsley-headquartered manufacturer Naylor Industries has increased turnover to more than £50m during a ‘year of investment’ which has helped the business prepare for further growth.

The piping and drainage manufacturer increased its turnover from £48.3m to £51.3m for the year to 28 February 2017, an increase of 6 per cent and the first time the business has crossed the £50m revenue boundary.

The fourth generation family business founded as a clay pipe manufacturer in 1890. Naylor’s head office is in Barnsley and the group today employs some 400 people across six factories in South Yorkshire, Cheshire, West Midlands and Fife.

Over the course of the year, Naylor relocated its head office to the Wombwell site as well as integrating Naylor Drainage Ltd and its Wadi Specialist Plastics injection moulding and fabrications businesses into the same premises.

Naylor Drainage has also been undertaking enabling works related to the acquisition of a new, large diameter, Twin Wall line which was commissioned in August 2017.

The business’ concrete products business acquired White’s (Concrete) Limited and has been integrating the new company into its Barugh Green site.

Though the business has had a lot of domestic success, trading in overseas markets has proved to be challenging, with the strength of sterling an impediment to Naylor’s international competitiveness.

Edward Naylor, chief executive of Naylor Industries, said: “It was something of a landmark year as it’s the first time that we have hit £50m.

“Over the last two financial years, we have made capital investments of £10.3m including £3.4m in freehold sites at Barugh Green and Wombwell.

He added: “The new sites are much larger than the leasehold sites from which we operated previously and their acquisition will allow us to grow manufacturing operations which previously were space-constrained.

“We have also acquired additional equipment across all our businesses, which has increased capacity and allowed us to offer a wider range of products and solutions to infrastructure and construction projects.”