Senior goes organic in quest for growth of new businesses

Rapidly expanding engineering group Senior signalled an end to its recent programme of acquisitions last week. Senior said it would shift from acquisitive to organic growth, and plans to `sweat’ the £160m worth of businesses it has bought over the past two years. The move is intended to help save an estimated £2m a year. […]

Rapidly expanding engineering group Senior signalled an end to its recent programme of acquisitions last week.

Senior said it would shift from acquisitive to organic growth, and plans to `sweat’ the £160m worth of businesses it has bought over the past two years. The move is intended to help save an estimated £2m a year.

The corporate restructuring has seen the company sell its low-technology metals and heat treatment businesses in favour of high-tech operations, which have been added to its Flexonics division. This specialises in thin-walled flexible tubing used by both the aerospace and automotive industries.

The company has added 13 new businesses to the group over the past two years and Flexonics now accounts for more than two-thirds of group turnover and about 90% of profits. Aerospace, meanwhile, accounts for about 40% of sales, more than double the contribution it made in 1997.

Senior’s acquisitions have included the £35m purchase of Jet Products in the US last year, its largest deal to date.

Chief executive Andrew Parrish said the companies brought in had made a significant contribution to the transformation of the group. But he said Senior now needs to concentrate resources on the newly acquired businesses to ensure that they contribute fully to its growth.

Last week’s changes follow the company’s decision to drop `engineering’ from the group name earlier this year. The latest proposals include a management rejig that will see the departure of corporate development director Glenn Timms, who was taken on to manage the acquisitions and disposals programme.

Chief operating officer Bill Kowal is to become acting divisional director of aerospace, concentrating on the US and Europe. Mike Sheppard, automotive division director, and Carl Francis, specialised industrial division director, will report directly to Parrish.

The management shake-up and redundancies at the head office will cost the company over £1m.