Weir prepares to expand as profits increase

Announcing record pre-tax profits of £64m for last year, new Weir chairman and chief executive Sir Ron Garrick said future strategy will focus on building the group’s engineering product range and its engineering services division. The profits came despite a fall in turnover to £724m last year, from £756m in 1997. Including an exceptional gain […]

Announcing record pre-tax profits of £64m for last year, new Weir chairman and chief executive Sir Ron Garrick said future strategy will focus on building the group’s engineering product range and its engineering services division.

The profits came despite a fall in turnover to £724m last year, from £756m in 1997. Including an exceptional gain of £7.9m for the sale of two businesses, pre-tax profits were £71.6m.

The Glasgow-based group has just fended off a £600m bid from US pump group Flowserve and is expected to make more acquisitions this year.

‘No deals are in the bag as yet,’ said finance director Ian Boyd, ‘but we are always looking for opportunities,’ Weir has £28m to spend on acquisitions, and borrowings could also be raised.

The group’s orders are slightly higher than at the start of 1998.

Weir’s shares suffered last year as engineering fell out of favour with the City. But it has no plans to de-list.