THE Wearside company which makes seats for Nissan's North East plant saw its revenues jump by more than a quarter to £141m after the car factory had a record year's production.
But while Tacle, whose majority shareholder is American motor giant the Lear Corporation, saw sales jump by 28% an increase in administration costs squeezed margins and led to a small dip in profits.
Tacle moved into Houghton-le-Spring in 2006 after securing the contract to make seats for the Qashqai vehicle.
This model has proved to be an outstanding success for the Japanese car giant which saw its one millionth Washington-made vehicle rolling off the production line last month.
In 2010 Nissan’s Wearside plant achieved a record production level, cementing its status as the UK’s leading car manufacturer after producing 423,262 cars, making it the most successful year since the site began operating in 1986.
This sterling performance by Nissan saw neighbours Tacle increase turnover to £141m from £110m although pre-tax profits fell from £3.1m to £2.9m over the same period.
When the company opened in the region it 2006 it employed more than 200 people and by 2008 this had increased to 350. But when the motor industry ground to a halt during the credit crunch Nissan saw sales fall off dramatically, laying off staff – this had a knock-on effect on Tacle which cut 100 jobs.
It now employs 219 staff, with 137 manufacturing and development employees and 82 in sales and administration.
This compares to a total of 238 staff at the end of 2009, with 160 of these in manufacturing and development and 78 then in sales and administration.
The directors’ report which accompanies its latest set of results, says: “Increased volumes of car production due to favourable economic conditions throughout 2010 has resulted in an increase in demand from the company’s customer.
“The gross margin declined slightly from the prior year to 6.9%, a reduction of 0.2%. The company’s operating profit of £2,941,000 was £287,000 worse than the previous period due to an increase in administrative expenses.”
The Tacle plant is on the site of the former Lucas Sumitomo factory.
It is a joint venture between the Lear Corporation, which owns 51% and Japanese company Tach-S, which owns 49%.
The profits have been added to the shareholders’ reserves which now total £6.2m.