Worcester Presses pursue growth after management buy out

Worcester Presses has been bought by its management team as part of plans to build on a record year of sales.

Worcester Presses
(l-r) Russell Hartill, Tony Carter, Ivan Littlewood and Charles Higgins

The Dudley firm, which provides a range of mechanical and hydraulic presses and coil processing equipment, has seen turnover jump by £700,000 to £3.2m, off the back of demand from the automotive, aerospace and construction sectors.

Company owner Charles Higgins sold his majority stake in the business to current directors Russell Hartill, Tony Carter and Ivan Littlewood in order to build on the this growth.

The trio have signalled their intentions by investing in a new CNC lathe and the recruitment of administrative and machining apprentices.

Hartill, who has taken over as managing director at Worcester Presses, said: “This is a fantastic business to develop and a lot of the track record and platform we have in place for future growth has come from the hard work, knowledge and contacts that Charles has brought to the business over the last forty years.

“He’ll continue in a sales and consultancy role and we are looking forward to leveraging his expertise as we look to build on a 20 per cent rise in sales in 2018.

“A lot of this growth has been down to our ability to deliver turnkey packages, with more customers looking for their hydraulic and mechanical presses to be tailored to their exact specification – often looking to integrate coil processing as part of the installation.”

Employing 14 people at its factory in Dudley, Worcester Presses has seen a 35 per cent increase in sales for its range of hydraulic presses, offering C Frame and straight side presses to customers involved in the metal forming and stamping industry.

The firm has also signed an agreement with a press transfer system specialist to shortly enable it to supply complete automation/robotic packages in the UK.

Carter said: “The investment in our new Dudley base…has been a game-changing decision for the business.  It has given us a more modern image and the additional capacity to store additional machines and adapt presses and coil handling equipment, so they are operational as soon as they are installed at the customer’s factory.

“A major recent project has included the delivery of a 600-tonne hydraulic press for a significant car manufacturer, whilst two 150 and 200 tonne ‘new arrivals’ have already been sold and are waiting to be commissioned.”