Group tooled up for acquisitions

Machine tool manufacturer 600 Group, which saw pre-tax profits slip to £3.78m for the six months to 30 September, said this week it has £20m to spend on acquisitions. Likely targets will be machine tools manufacturers that do not overlap with the 600 Group range, with savings coming through distribution economies. The group is planning […]

Machine tool manufacturer 600 Group, which saw pre-tax profits slip to £3.78m for the six months to 30 September, said this week it has £20m to spend on acquisitions.

Likely targets will be machine tools manufacturers that do not overlap with the 600 Group range, with savings coming through distribution economies.

The group is planning to dispose of its GCS steel stockholding business in Leeds, and the proceeds from that will boost the acquisitions fund.

Michael Wright, 600 Group’s chairman, said that the group’s markets had been mixed, and the effect of the strong pound in mainland Europe was offset only by a `flexible’ pricing policy.

The sale of Ealing Electro-Optics marked the group’s continuing strategy of focusing on core machine tools and laser business, and the company has begun developing a range of machine tools and laser products for launch next year.

David Morrison was appointed managing director of 600 Lathes at the end of September, following Tony Sweeten’s promotion to group managing director last December.

* Total turnover of machine tools in the third quarter of 1997 increased 14.7% compared with the same period last year, according to the latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics. But orders on hand at the end of September this year are down 22.5% on the level at September 1996.