Niche engineering helps improve Carclo profits by 28%

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Carclo Engineering, the specialist steel and wire manufacturer, reported another good set of figures with pre-tax profit for the year to the end of March up to pounds 16.6m from pounds 12.8m, an increase of 28 per cent .

The results include the first full-year contribution from Arthur Lee, the steel and plastics manufacturer, of pounds 4.1m. The company was acquired in late 1993.

Turnover is up 14 per cent to pounds 174m, and the company's general engineering business saw operating profit rise 13 per cent to pounds 5.2m. The wire division's profit rose 41 per cent to pounds 5m.

Carclo's strategy is to concentrate on the ownership and development of niche engineering businesses.

It says that this strategy means that the core businesses can serve a wide range of markets, giving the company some protection from cyclical declines in specific sectors.

Graham Logan Brown, managing director, said: "We invest with a view to reducing costs of manufacture to enable us to remain competitive in our various market places.

"We are investing significant time and resources in ensuring that our management information systems give us the right information to run our business. We look forward to `96 with confidence."

During the year the company disposed of non-core businesses and, in so doing, believes that it has enhanced the quality of its earnings.

It has cash and unutilised medium-term borrowing facilities of pounds 46m "to fund growth".

Earnings per share are 18.8p, up from 15.7p last year, with a dividend of 10p, against 9.1p.