Plastics manufacturer Nifco increased operating profit to £3.8m in 2013, up from £1.4m the year before, the company’s latest accounts show.
The Eaglescliffe-based manufacturer, which makes plastic components for the automotive industry, reported a growth in turnover from £40.9m to £49.8m.
Nifco almost doubled the amount of turnover it generates through its customer specific tooling business, which increased from £4.4m in 2012 to £8.3m in 2013.
The firm’s injection moulded plastics business generated £41.5m turnover during the year, compared with turnover of £36.5m the year before.
Director Mike Matthews described the period as demanding given the firm’s change of premises to its new Durham Lane site amid 22% sales growth.
The 14.4 acre, £8.5m site was chosen after the firm outgrew the factory it had been operating in since the 1960s. Nifco said the new factory was at peak production by the end of 2013.
Mr Matthews, crowned North East Business Executive of the year in 2013, said: “Nifco is now in its 5th consecutive year of growth. With ongoing refinement and improvement of its business strategies both internally and externally the business is becoming, year-on-year, more effective in operations and year-on-year more effective at winning new business.
“For the last five years we have set new business achievement targets every year. In 2013 this was sales nominations in excess of £20m, with higher expectations for 2014. Current projections see Nifco UK achieve somewhere in the order of £100m by 2020.”
The average number of staff in the firm’s production unit increased from 255 to 316, while the number of sales and administration staff increased from 47 to 52.
Elsewhere in the report Mr Matthews highlighted challenges posed by increasing raw material and transport prices, saying the firm expected such pressures to continue into 2014.
He also added: “Although Nifco’s sales activity has performed exceptionally well, this has to be seen in context against a stagnant Eurozone where car production has still not reached pre credit crisis levels and where high levels of austerity measures are still limiting growth in these countries.”