Glynwed plans to shed its cyclical metals businesses, while expanding its pipe-systems and consumer products divisions.
Despite a surging pound and rising pension charges, the engineering group this week reported a 3.6% rise in pre-tax profits for 1997 before exceptionals of £89.4m. Turnover was down 6% to £1.2bn. Sterling’s strength cut about £10m off last year’s profits and could shave a further £5m off first half profits this year, said Tony Wilson, chief executive.
The two metals businesses account for about 50% of Glynwed’s profits and turnover but are not seen as capable of the international growth of pipes and consumer products, notably Aga and Rayburn ovens. Glynwed is determined to get the right price for the sale, expected by the year end.
With group debt of just £2.5m last year, about £100m £150m is available for acquisitions. Targets are being sought in pipes and consumer products, largely in the US and Europe.