Hull engineering business C Spencer Ltd has described its latest trading performance as resilient in the face of difficult market conditions.
The company reported turnover of £52.4 million, down 25 per cent from the previous year’s £70.3 million. Pre-tax profit of £1.7m was also down 11.3 per cent for the year to April. Trading as Spencer Group, it delivers complex engineering solutions for a blue-chip client base in rail, bridges, industrial, infrastructure and energy markets. It highlighted the head winds of high inflation and rising interest rates, with Brexit hangovers and the impact of the war in Ukraine as external impacts on growth hopes.
Charlie Spencer OBE, founder and executive chair of the Humber Quays-based business, said: “The considerable economic uncertainty during the year depressed capital investment in the UK economy, stalling the progress of a number of schemes as clients carefully considered the impact of escalating raw commodity prices.
“Despite these challenges, we continued to deliver projects to an exceptionally high standard and secure a healthy pipeline of new work, much of it repeat business with our existing clients. The capability we have to both design and deliver engineering projects using in-house resources is a key differentiator and gives us a competitive advantage in the markets we serve. These skills also enable us to fully engage with our supply partners to drive full value for our clients.”
A series of flagship projects, including a major upgrade of Manchester International Depot to transform it into a modern train servicing and stabling facility, and maintenance and repair projects on some of the UK’s most iconic bridges – including renovation of Union Chain Bridge on the English/Scottish border and the Grade I listed Menai Suspension Bridge in North Wales, completed in the year.
Prestigious contracts currently being delivered by C Spencer Ltd include construction of the £26.5 million White Rose Rail Station in Leeds and a flagship international project to create a bespoke access system to inspect cables on the new Pattullo Bridge in British Columbia, Canada. Closer to home it is the principal contractor on Grimsby’s Grade II listed £5 million Corporation Road Bridge refurbishment.
The year saw it continue its strong focus on developing the company’s pool of young talent by taking on 14 apprentices from Hull’s employer-led school, Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC). The business is one of its founding partners and a further intake during the current trading year saw it pass the milestone of recruiting 50 apprentices from the school in the past five years.
It is also driving greater gender balance, with females almost at one in five employees now, in what has long been a male-dominated industry. Two of the five board members are also women, while employee numbers went up despite the squeeze on finances, from 266 to 307 in the year.
Mr Spencer added: “We’re proud of our very significant and ongoing commitment to bring new talent into the business and the engineering industry.
“It’s well known that the sector has an ageing workforce, so it’s vitally important to bring through a new generation of engineers. The young recruits we have taken on have made a fantastic contribution to the business and many now have key roles in some of our most important projects.
“Equally, we’re continuing to make strong progress in addressing the gender imbalance in the industry, with a growing proportion of women across the business. This is evidenced by the composition of our board.”
C Spencer Ltd entered the current financial year with secured work totalling £62 million and “a strong pipeline of opportunities”, he added.
Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber