Dominant McKechnie rockets to record high

McKechnie announced record annual results last week, boosted by its aerospace activities and by disposals. The company said it was well positioned to withstand instability in the market, with acquisitions in high-margin markets and plans for more this year. Restructuring over the past 18 months since chief executive Andrew Walker joined the company has seen […]

McKechnie announced record annual results last week, boosted by its aerospace activities and by disposals.

The company said it was well positioned to withstand instability in the market, with acquisitions in high-margin markets and plans for more this year.

Restructuring over the past 18 months since chief executive Andrew Walker joined the company has seen McKechnie focus on areas where the company can develop high value-added engineering services.

Analysts said the strategy put McKechnie in a dominant position in numerous fast-growing niche markets. Its products include plastic containers for supermarket produce and widgets for Guinness cans.

The £55m acquisition of US-based engine and airframe parts maker Arger has increased its aerospace coverage. Walker said two thirds of the division’s sales were replacement parts a market less vulnerable to sector downturns.

Aerospace accounts for 30% of profits compared with just 7% four years ago.

McKechnie sold its low-margin Australasian metals activities in August, netting £63.5m for acquisitions.

Profits before an exceptional goodwill write-off were up 12% to £62.2m for the year to the end of July on turnover up 5% to £519m.