Steel processing firm Spartan UK Limited increased its revenues to £92.1m in its last financial year and says it expects a recovery in demand for its rolled steel plate products.
The Gateshead-based manufacturer, which is owned by Ukranian mining and steel holding group Metinvest, narrowed losses from £6.1m in 2012 to £1.9m in 2013 - driven by an increase in gross profits.
The firm’s administrative and distribution costs remained broadly flat at £4.8m and £4.5m respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2013.
In its annual results Spartan said the volume of its Spartan plate product increased although prices continued to fall in the year as the market remained “difficult”.
The company’s strategic report noted the geographical and sector spread of Spartan customers - a factor it said balanced risks to the business arising from any one area.
In the directors’ statement accompanying its annual accounts, Spartan said “The directors are satisfied that in difficult market and economic conditions, Spartan has consolidated its position as an established plate producer in the North European market and is well positioned to take advantage of any recovery in trading conditions.
“In 2012, Spartan are expecting a continued recovery in demand across the markets. It is anticipated that customers will favour Spartan supply during this period as the short lead times minimise their risks during this uncertain recovery.
“It is forecast that Spartan will recover in volumes slightly faster than the competitors in our markets.”
Spartan is exposed to fluctuation in raw material prices and says it mitigates the risk through strict monitoring and limiting of stocks.
Metinvest acquired Spartan UK in 2008. Spartan steel products end up in ‘yellow goods’ like excavators, towers for wind turbines, and even Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium.