Environmental Systems Products (ESP) of the US rescued engineer Wellman’s troubled transport engineering division last year. It contributed two-thirds of its £36.6m operating profits and 96% of its £5m operating profits.
Contributions from the rest of the division tumbled year on year from £5.05m to £219,000. ESP has appointed David Pinner as new divisional boss to restructure it. He succeeds Barry Jameson who has left. Tony Fletcher, the finance director, has returned to the venture capital business. He will be replaced next week by Terry Smith. Both newcomers have engineering backgrounds.
Problems in the transport division came from two garage equipment businesses. The loss-making UK arm was hit by a suspension period of MOT vehicle emission tests last year and poor margins; the German operation had trading difficulties that led to its closure at a cost of £2.9m.
That is partly offset by £1.8m profits on company disposals, £1.4m of it relating to the engineering division which was sold for £16.7m a year ago.
The thermal engineering business did better than was expected, although with adverse exchanges the profits fell 14% to £4.77.