Aerospace recovery helps Hampson back into black

UK aerospace and precision engineering group Hampson Industries crept back into the black and flagged up a mixture of confirmed and potential
orders from the likes of Rolls-Royce and GKN.

UK aerospace and precision engineering group Hampson Industries crept back into the black and flagged up a mixture of confirmed and potential orders from the likes of Rolls-Royce and GKN.

The glimmer of a recovery in the civil aerospace sector and buoyant demand in its automotive operations helped Hampson to reverse its downward trend.

The company’s interim results showed Hampson made a £300,000 profit compared to a £200,000 deficit at the same stage last year. Sales rose slightly to £34.5m in the six months to September.

Like others operating in the sector, Hampson has been hit by the slowdown in the civil aerospace market. However, the group said its policy of focusing on long-term contracts was starting to bear fruit.

Hampson said it is in discussions with GKN over the supply of precision-machined and fabricated components and assemblies for the Airbus A400M programme. Winning the business would be worth around £15m to Hampson over the life of the project.

The group has also won new business from Snecma and Rolls-Royce worth a total of more than £3m a year.

Aerospace fabrications and assemblies continued to make ‘good progress’ supporting the pre-production phase of Eclipse Aviation’s new light twin-jet aircraft, said the company. ‘The new contracts we have won and the opportunities that remain available mean we are continuing to invest substantially in our engineering production, sourcing and logistics capabilities,’ said chairman Tony Gilroy.

Hampson’s precision engineering division roared ahead with a 23 per cent increase in sales, the result of continuing high demand for components for automotive turbo-charger and fuel delivery systems.

The group has also just signed a joint-venture agreement to build a new manufacturing facility in Bangalore, India. The plant is expected to be ready for production to begin in late 2005.

Hampson also expects to receive the go-ahead by the end of this month to complete its acquisition of Texstars, a US specialist in highly-engineered polymer-based technology.

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