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Stadium kicks forward with design strategy
AN electronics firm that has secured two contracts totalling £3m is to make its North-East office the centre of its UK operations.
Stadium Group will increase the workforce at Hartlepool from 120 to 140 as part of a strategy that has seen the firm take on more complex design work, as well as manufacturing, focusing on servicing high-growth markets.
The company has recently secured a £1m contract with a client in the smart meter sector, as well as a £2m deal with a retailer.
Stadium hopes to evolve from being a electronics manufacturer to an electronic techonologies group, focusing on providing niche technologies with intellectual property rights to enable the design and manufacture of tailormade systems and parts of systems.
The firm’s six-month interim report yesterday showed revenues had fallen about seven per cent, from £23.2m to £20.9m, with electronic manufacturing services down 12 per cent to £18.2m, responsible for the loss.
By contrast, revenues from the power side of the business were up 12 per cent to £2.8m, with total pre-tax profits dropping by more than half from £1.6m to £0.6m.
However, the interim dividend remained unchanged at 1.05p.
The group’s report said the group’s acquisition of IGT Industries for £4.2m had expanded the company’s intelligent displays offering under Stadium Displays.
Chief executive Stephen Phipson said the downturn in revenues had been largely due to electronic manufacturing systems customers ordering less stock.
He said the company was moving from primarily manufacturing and supplying electronic systems to providing the associated design and technology.
“Everyone’s seen about a 25 per cent drop off in trade. We’ve managed to compensate about 15 per cent of that,” he said.
“We have won a couple of very large contracts that start production next year.
“We have planned the majority of work to go to Hartlepool, where we have started to hire new people. We are taking on ten employees and will be recruiting another ten as we get up to full production.
“It is a real sign of confidence in Hartlepool. It is a very good workforce, very well-established.
It is becoming the centre of our UK operations.”
He said the company was moving into designing and manufacturing high-end systems and parts of systems, for example supplying displays, power supplies, printed circuit boards and electronic manufacturing systems to the same customers.
“The customers love that idea. No one else is doing it,” he said.
“The next year is about building that and helping sell that to the customers.
“It would also be quite nice to get another acquisition.
“Half the profits now come from design and technology rather than just systems “I think it is brilliant. It is an exciting story in a very, very gloomy economic climate.”
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