Manufacturer bounces back with record sales

A Shropshire manufacturer has returned to full operational capacity after securing a record £500,000 of sales in seven days.

Fabweld Steel Products (FSP), which designs and manufactures fabricated steel access covers and associated drainage supplies, has recalled all of its staff back to its Telford factory to meet demand for its products.

FSP had furloughed a number of staff with others working from home during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The spike in sales – around 10 times more than what would be expected at this time of year – signals a return of confidence to the market, says managing director Richard Hilton.

“Our experience was similar to many other manufacturers when the pandemic first hit. There was an immediate slowdown in sales as customers adjusted to the impact of Covid-19 and the suspension of building and other businesses.

“Since March, we have continued manufacturing to meet demand and furloughed some staff to protect the long-term future of the business. Business was starting to regain some impetus but even we have been surprised by the recent flood of orders.”

FSP supplies a number of sectors including major infrastructure projects like the London Power Tunnels as well as providing solutions for commercial and domestic landscaping, the energy sector and water management.

The recent surge in orders has come from a mix of UK and export projects including €275,000 from Germany for the supply of recessed access covers.

Hilton added: “From the outset of the pandemic our priority was always to continue business as normal as far as practicable whilst safeguarding the welfare of our staff. We have invested a great deal of time and money in new measures to protect staff, so it’s been easy for us to respond quickly to the increased order book that we’re experiencing.

“I think this is a very positive signal that confidence is beginning to return to industry and construction and long may it continue.”