Robotics specialist Sewtec has secured a record £25m order book, driven by a wider transformational change in the business following a successful management buyout (MBO) one year ago.
The Dewsbury-based high technology company designs and manufactures factory automation systems for the food, pharmaceutical, personal care and tobacco industries. Its clients include Nestlé, Unilever Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, with more than 85 per cent of its sales being exports.
Sewtec’s £25m order book is the largest the company has achieved since it was founded in 1982 and includes major automation projects to be delivered within the next one to two years, many of which are repeat business from existing clients.
Its strong performance means the company is on track to achieve its ambition of doubling turnover to £32m by 2022.
It also marks the first anniversary of Sewtec’s MBO, which was backed by Leeds-headquartered private equity firm Endless in August 2017. The company’s management team of technical director Gary Day, controls director Karl Conqueror and sales director Paul Johnson led the buyout, after which managing director Mark Cook joined the company.
Sewtec has also announced that three recently appointed management team members have been promoted to director. Ian Walch has been appointed as project director, Lizzie Hay becomes finance director and Mark Atkins becomes director of business services.
To support project delivery, the company has also significantly increased its headcount by recruiting 20 new highly skilled employees across engineering, manufacturing and sales roles. This brings its headcount to 80 people, with plans to bring an additional 40 jobs to the region within the next four years.
In June, Sewtec also opened a new mechanical and software engineering design office at Silkwood Park in Wakefield and an assembly and commissioning site in Normanton, complementing its existing 23,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Dewsbury.
Commenting on Sewtec’s strong performance, Endless director, Andrew Ross, said: “Sewtec has had an exceptional first year following the MBO and goes into its second year of new ownership with real momentum. The company has a strong management team, a compelling proposition and enormous potential to expand further in its chosen markets both in the UK and internationally.
“Endless is a transformational investor. Last year we were very excited about the opportunity to invest in an already very successful, longstanding Yorkshire business and to support the management team in transforming it into a more scalable operation. One year on, we are very pleased with what Mark and the team have achieved so far and remain excited about the future of Sewtec.”
Underpinning Sewtec’s transformational change is the company’s strategic business plan led by managing director, Mark Cook. Among several innovations introduced in the past year is a modular design approach which improves efficiencies during the design and manufacturing phases. Sewtec has also rebranded and launched a new company website, improved its IT and business systems, enhanced its human resource policies and procedures, increased engagement with local schools and universities and provided more support to local charities.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Mark Cook said: “Our strong order book demonstrates the outstanding reputation that Sewtec has built. There is ongoing demand for the Sewtec brand, services and products, and this has opened up many prospects for us in the sectors and markets we operate in.
“This is also a success for highly skilled British manufacturing. Our excellent export record shows the appeal of our bespoke automation systems on a global stage, driven by an innovative approach and world-class customer experience.
“With a skilled and dedicated team across all areas of the business, we’re in a robust position to continue our growth plan and reach our ambitious goal of becoming a 120-strong £32m turnover business.”