Automotive supplier transforms fortunes after loss of boss

Autins Group

Automotive supplier Autins Group has seen a dramatic transformation in its fortunes less than 12 months after the resignation of its long-serving chief executive.

The Warwickshire company saw its value cut by a third in February after former chief executive Jim Griffin quit and it revealed a major customer had revised order volumes.

In its first full set of annual results since its August 2016 IPO, the AIM-listed group, a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of acoustic and thermal insulation materials, said full year revenues had risen 29% to £26.4m (2016: £20.4m).

Gross profit was ahead 38% to £9.0m (2016: £6.5m), with adjusted EBITDA increasing to £2.0m (2016: £1.4m) and profit after tax rising to £0.4m (2016: £0.3m).

Adam Attwood, group chairman, said: “We have delivered strong top line growth in the year and the board expects that this will continue. We are confident that 2018 will be a period of significant progress for Autins as we focus on implementing our detailed business plans designed to realise the full potential of the group.”

In line with strategic plans, the extra funds were invested back into the business to strengthen management and key staff so it could continue to build core capabilities in research, test, and engineering as well as improving its core manufacturing processes.

At an operating level, each region saw progress. Having become wholly-owned at the time of the IPO, both its German and Swedish operations achieved promising wins with important OEMs. This, combined with further improvements in the year, has meant that both operations delivered profits in the year.

“Coupled with access to strategically important European OEMs and large addressable markets, Autins is well placed for a bright future in Germany and Sweden,” it said.

In the UK, it re-aligned its manufacturing processes across its sites in Rugby and Tamworth to better balance its capacity and the respective sites’ utilisation levels. This will continue in 2018 as it looks to focus on ensuring that operational performance improves.

Sales of components increased by 26% to £24.8m (2016: £19.7m). Direct sales to the group’s largest customer accounted for 64% of group revenues (2016: 65%). The board expects this concentration to reduce in the coming year as revenues from new customer programmes begin volume production.

The UK component manufacturing business continued to be a major driver in terms of organic growth, with sales increasing by 20% to £22m (2016: £18.4 million). Non-automotive components revenue in the UK increased by £0.2m with ongoing development of the product range to allow access to new markets.

Having secured new work with a major European OEM, German automotive revenues more than doubled to £1.1m in the year. The board said it expected continued growth in the coming year as this contract was implemented across more of the OEM’s plants.

Swedish automotive revenues were £0.8m (2016: £0.3m) benefitting from a combination of new platform launches in the second half of 2017 and a full year’s trading following the acquisition of the remaining 51% in April 2016.