NHS and defence success

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Business wins in the defence and medical sectors have seen advanced composite specialist Permali report strong 2019/2020 year-end results in a difficult market.

The company supplies the NHS, F1 and motor sport teams and the defence, medical and aerospace sectors.

The last wear saw double-digit revenue and profit growth, a raft of new strategic capital investments and recruitment drive at a time when sector rivals are retrenching.

Key financial highlights include revenue up 13.5% to £13m and profit up to £1.2m.

Growth has been driven by a succession of significant business wins in the defence and medical sectors, reflecting expertise in manufacturing materials for specialists in high-stress environments.   The strategic decision to focus on these sectors helped offset a small reduction in demand from the aerospace sector, caused by the pandemic.

Highlights included helping the NHS fight the pandemic and save lives by providing Tuftane®  for protective membranes and hospital bed mattresses and delivering on a significant uplift in demand for land defence vehicle parts, particularly armour panels for the Ajax Tank and Armoured Personnel Carriers. Components produced by Permali protect servicemen and women from small arms, rifle and machine gun rounds as well as IEDs, landmines and shrapnel.

Reflecting this financial success, strong balance sheet and order pipeline, the company has not used the Government CV-19 support schemes – only temporarily deferring a VAT payment.  Moreover, the company has boosted its hiring plans and brought renewed focus on staff development and technical upskilling.  

This year Permali converted over 20 temporary employees to permanent to build continuity and skills retention taking the headcount to circa 100.  The average length of service in the company is now around 10 years and it has taken on six new apprentices to ensure long-term skills retention.

Investments included an in-house automated paint plant, new CNC machines, a 5-axis waterjet cutter and a new assembly line.

Permali’s Managing Director Karl Wharton said: “We are delighted by our success in such a difficult year for the manufacturing sector, and the wider economy. We are extremely grateful to our loyal and highly experienced employees who have been the driving force behind our achievements, and we are delighted to be able to continue to invest in our team, our facilities and our capabilities to take advantage of new growth opportunities. We sell advanced material solutions delivered by experts for experts to use in challenging environments. We believe we are only at the start of a period of rapid and sustainable business growth. People trust Permali – we offer Protection – Performance – Precision”