Hartlepool-based Stadium Group back on acquisition trail

Teesside technologies company Stadium Group is back on the acquisition trail after seeing sales rise 3% to £42.2m, driven by revenues from a firm it bought out in 2012

Teesside technologies company Stadium Group is back on the acquisition trail after seeing sales rise 3% to £42.2m, driven by revenues from a firm it bought out in 2012.

The global electronics firm, which employs around 1,000 people, consists of three core business strands – power products, interface and displays, and Integrated Electronic Manufacturing Services (iEMS), the latter of which is mainly controlled from its Hartlepool headquarters.

Last year revenues grew to £42.22m, a rise of 3% on 2012, taking into effect the full year of sales from the interface and displays business IGT which it acquired in September 2012. On a like-for-like basis, sales were down by 4.4% but interface and displays grew by around 40% in the second half of the year on a comparative basis.

Restructuring changes at the group prompted the board to shelve acquisition activities in the second half of 2013 – a move it is now reversing.

Pre-tax profits fell by more than £1.3m to £430,000 for the year to 31 December 2013, a fall on the previous year’s result of £1.77m, but the business said the figures were mainly affected by restructuring costs of more than £1m.

Chairman Nick Brayshaw described 2013 as a “transformational year” said the iEMS business has undergone significant organisational change both in its UK and Asia operations, following the board’s decision to close the Rugby manufacturing site at the end of 2012 and focus the iEMS business in Hartlepool. At the same time Stadium Asia consolidated its trading activities into mainland China from Hong Kong.

Several senior managers were also recruited to strengthen the leadership team during the period.

Brayshaw said: “2013 has been a transformational year for the group.

“Despite the challenges caused by this level of change management in the business as well as the challenging trading conditions, the group delivered a resilient performance in the year.

“The group is now in a much stronger position to capitalise on the strategic objectives.

“Given the level of organisational change in the business the Board decided in the second half of the year to place acquisition activities on hold. The Group has since re-activated the process and remains committed to pursuing suitable targets measured against our specific acquisition criteria.”

“We have made a solid start to the new financial year, demonstrating the benefits from our self-help and restructuring activities.”

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