Award-winning industrial painter covers defence contract loss as revenues rise

Industrial painting specialist Jack Tighe Ltd has seen revenues increase despite the loss of a major defence contract ahead of the latest financial year.

Turnover was up 22 per cent to £15.7 million in 2022 at the Scunthorpe-headquartered firm which has strong interests in rail and major heavy process operations. Margins were, however, squeezed, from 22 per cent to 14 per cent. Smaller projects and those requiring more plant, such as grit blasting, had disproportionately made up much of the turnover increase, requiring additional logistics and putting further reliance on sub-contracting in a competitive labour market. Major raw materials price increases – many of between 20 and 25 per cent – were also factored in, driven by the war in Ukraine, with paint grit and other consumables highlighted.

Referring to the growth in his strategic report accompanying the calendar-aligned accounts, director Martin Tighe said: “This in isolation is a success considering the loss of the Portsmouth Naval Dockyard in 2021. The range and volume of clients we have supported in 2022 is significant, which is a real positive we should be pleased with.”

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Reflecting on the targeted profitability not being met on the back of the increased turnover, the challenges were listed, with moves to address also being made.

Three managerial appointments have been made, with ongoing efforts to add directly employed qualified labour, while estimating procedures have been reviewed and the validity period of quotes shortened to take into account the cost volatility.

The nitrogen sphere at British Steel, Scunthorpe.
The nitrogen sphere at British Steel, Scunthorpe.

Headcount slipped below 100 from 103 to 91 in the year for the Foxhills Industrial Estate business.

Since the year end Tighe has been recognised at the Premier Trophy Awards hosted by the Painting and Decorating Association. It took gold in the industrial category for its surface preparation and application of protective coatings to a nitrogen sphere for British Steel at the Scunthorpe site, while being highly commended for Queenborough Station Footbridge.

Of the steel works project, the judges said: “Repainting a sphere may sound like a simple task, however the project had several challenges with the proximity to high-pressure vessels limiting access and a live site.Large cherry pickers were required to prepare and paint the top section. The result was excellent work.”

The award, the second in four years following success with the gas main at British Steel in 2019, was announced at Plaisterers’ Hall in London. Chief executive of the PDA, Neil Ogilvie said: “Our congratulations to Jack Tighe Ltd on the high standard of work, commitment to quality and professionalism that is recognised with this award.

“As the UK’s largest trade body for painting and decorating, we are delighted to shine a spotlight on some of the fantastic work the team at Jack Tighe have achieved.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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