William Cook Group chalks up rising revenues and profits amid growth in all markets

North steel specialist William Cook Group has seen revenues and profits rise after seeing demand rise in all of its main markets.

The sixth-generation family firm, which has its headquarters in Sheffield, produces components for the rail, defence and energy sectors. Its site in Stanhope, County Durham, is the main site for its defence operations, as the home for its businesses Cook Defence Systems, William Cook Stanhope and William Cook Intermodal.

Accounts for William Cook Holdings Ltd, representing the group of companies, showed group turnover rose 28.4% from £52.4m to £67.3m for the year ended July 2023. A breakdown in turnover showed increases in all of its geographical markets, with £40.8m coming from UK customers, £17.35m from continental Europe, £3.9m from North America and £5.17m from the rest of the world.

Operating profit rose from £4.7m to £8.5m, while pre-tax profit increased from £5m to £8.5m. Profit for the financial period was £6.2m, up from £4.4m. Overheads, excluding exceptional items, were £9.47m, up from £8.5mm which it said in part reflected the acquisition of Chesterfield Metal Technologies in April 2023. Following the year end in April of this year the company also acquired Crowle Wharf Engineers Limited, a rail engineering company based in Scunthorpe, at a cost of £1m.

During the year, employee numbers rose from 456 to 486. Group chairman Sir Andrew Cook highlighted how the company’s defence division aided the firm’s improved results.

In the accounts report he said: “I am pleased to report improved results for the period ending 1 July 2023. Sales and profits increased in all our main market sectors, with defence particularly benefitting from the Ukraine conflict and NATO rearmament programme. In the rail sector, further new-build contracts in eastern Europe provided significant new business, supplemented by additional UK refurbishment work, and in the high integrity industrial division business levels and operational performance both improved significantly.

“These improvements, supplemented by robust results from the Chesterfield acquisition of April 2023, have continued into the current year, which I am confident will reveal further increases in sales and profits.

“Focus on investment has shifted from the largely complete defence and rail programmes to our industrial sector, where the new £2m radiography centre was opened in March 2024 to be followed soon by the installation of new production machinery at both the Sheffield and Ashton plants.

“Inevitably in this present confused world, where reality and commonsense is undermined by fad-based politics and feel-good policies, the future remains uncertain, but of one thing I am certain. Whatever challenge fate may throw at us, we will be ready to meet it. This has always been my policy, and so it will remain.”

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

Scroll to Top