In preliminary results published on 11th June, Trifast confirmed total group revenue for the year ending 31st March 2019 at GB£209.1 million, a year-on-year increase of 5.8% at constant exchange rate.
Trifast’s European operations had a strong year, with revenues growing 5.8%, driven by double-digit revenue increases across six of eight entities, including Holland (automotive), Hungary (electronics) and Germany (general industrial). Reduced domestic appliances volumes, as the result of trading conditions in Trifast’s Italian operations, offset some of these increases. Trifast’s Spanish greenfield site successfully securing its first £1m of annual sales in the year.
Asia achieved year-on-year growth of 2.6% to GB£58.7million with strong domestic appliances sector increases in Singapore offset to some extent by the local factory closure of a multinational OEM electronics customers in China, as well as the knock-on effect of additional US tariffs to a small number of multinational customers operating in the region.
Overall, Trifast’s UK business showed very strong total revenue growth of 8.4% to £79.1m reflecting the successful acquisition of Precision Technology Supplies (PTS) in April 2018. Organic trading levels, however, reduced slightly (-1.4%) due to the downturn in UK automotive manufacturing volumes. Outside of this, the Trifast reported another solid year in its most mature market – mainly driven by high ongoing demand in both general industrial and distributor business.
In the USA, a successful site move at the beginning of the year has been rewarded by exceptional revenue growth, increasing by 38.3% to £8.9m. This reflects ongoing gains in both the automotive and electronics sector plus good use of existing multinational Tier 1 and OEM customer relationships.
Underlying profit before tax increased 5.9% (CER) to GB£23.6 million. Organic growth stood at 2.% (AER), with PTS contributing a further 3.6% of growth to the topline. Gross margins remained on target at 30% despite the impact of anticipated purchase price inflation in the UK and upfront costs of ongoing investments in European manufacturing capacity. Underlying operating margins increased to an historic high of 11.6%.
CEO Mark Belton and CFO Claire Foster noted: "Trifast has delivered a solid performance and the Directors remain optimistic about the progress the business will make over the coming financial year. Our highly experienced teams are dedicated to researching, developing, marketing and selling innovative products that meet today's high expectations that all our customers demand in terms of quality, value and price. Despite the potential implications of Brexit and the continuing trade tensions between the US and China, the Board remains confident in its strategy, its people and the Group's flexibility to adapt to change."
Having held senior management roles in leading automotive and fastener businesses, Phil joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine as editor in 2002. Convinced there is no substitute for ‘being there’, over 15 years of visits and interviews around the world means he has accumulated an extraordinary knowledge and perspective of the global fastener industry, reflected in his incisive and thought provoking reporting.