Booth Industries turns the corner to recovery

Engineering group Booth Industries said it was ‘on the way back’ to recovery after reporting a sharply reduced half-year loss and an 11% surge in group turnover last week. The company, which specialises in fire and blast protection systems for the oil and gas sector, and also makes elevators at its Oakland subsidiary, said margins […]

Engineering group Booth Industries said it was ‘on the way back’ to recovery after reporting a sharply reduced half-year loss and an 11% surge in group turnover last week.

The company, which specialises in fire and blast protection systems for the oil and gas sector, and also makes elevators at its Oakland subsidiary, said margins were ‘significantly up’ and predicted a big improvement for the full year.

Finance director Bill Robson said the strength of sterling had not helped Booth improve its prospects and he admitted that it had proved difficult to hold on to margin improvements achieved last year.

After overhead reductions and the loss of 10 out of 70 jobs, he said he hoped the corner had been turned.

Booth is also to sell its water and process tank operation to its former management, Robson disclosed.

‘Half year losses which have been a feature of the group’s performance for some years now were negligible. We’ve had a lot of competition from Europe and we’ve had to take steps to counter it.’

‘A week or so ago I would like to have thought that sterling was finally moving in the right direction. Now I’m not so sure. We have to learn to live with the strong pound because it’s not going to depreciate 20% overnight.’

Robson admitted that the first half of the year had been difficult but said he believed the cost cutting steps taken would redress the situation.