By Liz White, ERJ staff
Polymer seals specialist Wellington Holdings plc increased its turnover and operating profits, whilst margins rose to an "exceptional 15.6 percent (H1 2003 11.4 percent)â€ for the first half of 2004, according to chairman Brian Kent.
Wellington's strong global presence in the energy sector, in components for oil wells, the gas industry and longwall coal mining, was "the platform for our good performance," said Kent.
Oil and gas drilling continued to be strong in North America, where Wellington's oil and gas sales increased by 22 percent, he added Also, the group's global mining business returned to the high levels of H1, 2002, with strong demand from eastern Europe and the Far East.
â€œThe impetus of the improved sales and order levels of last year continued into 2004. Operating profit for the period is the highest for six years," the Wellington chairman commented. At Â£17.2 million (Euro 25 million), the group's turnover was up nearly Â£2 million on the first half of 2003, while operating profit rose nearly Â£1 million to Â£2.7 million.
"These excellent results were achieved despite adverse currency movement, which reduced translation of sales by Â£900 000 and operating profit by Â£150 000 compared with 2003. Another encouraging factor is the order intake in the period of Â£17.8 million, which resulted in a half year orders at near record levels, Kent said.
Wellington's sales into the energy sector formed 30 percent of its business in the period while the fluid power market now accounts for 68 percent of sales (2003: 62%).
Wellington also announced the appointment of David Jones as group managing director. The group's current chief executive, Chris Wilkins, has decided to reduce his travelling and business commitments for family reasons. He will continue as a director but hand over executive responsibilities to Jones over the next three months.