Strong H1 sets lighting firm on the path to growth

Worcestershire lighting group, F W Thorpe has reported a strong first half with group revenues up by 23.8% and operating profit increasing almost 20%.

The Redditch-based group is now looking for sustained momentum during the second half, aided by the expansion of one of its local operations.

For the six months to December 31, 2016, revenue reached £51.2m (H1 2015/16: £41.4m), while pre-tax profit claimed 18% to £7.8m (H1 2015/16: £6.6m).

In the group’s interim results statement, chairman Andrew Thorpe said: “Whilst normally expecting a higher level of profit attainment on raised revenues, the exceptionally buoyant first half at our largest entity, Thorlux Lighting, had to be met by the imposition of high levels of overtime, shift working etc. which inevitably has led to a higher cost of production than we would have liked.  

“These actions were necessary to satisfy spikes in customer demand but it is unlikely that the need for such levels of activity will persist.”

He said that throughout the group, revenue and profit had both improved, with the exception of Compact Lighting which is still in a transitory state merging many of its product ranges and sales platforms with Thorlux Lighting.

“Hardware investment also continues and this has most recently included the purchase, in Redditch, of a modern 1,800 sqm freehold factory unit for TRT Lighting which was being constrained through lack of space,” added Mr Thorpe.
 
“This new space will not only increase manufacturing capacity at TRT Lighting but will also house a new paint plant serving not only TRT but for use as a back-up facility in case of paint plant problems at nearby Thorlux where current capacity is stretched. In the same vein, it will house a new surface mount circuit board production line again for TRT use and as a group back-up facility.”

The group’s overseas operations were said to have performed well, with renewed optimism at the now 100% owned, Australian office. However, the contribution of its UAE office was subdued as the business continues to find its way.

“We remain optimistic of a satisfactory overall result for the year,” added Mr Thorpe.