Bicester-based Hardide plc, which develops advanced surface coating technology, saw revenues in the six months to the end of March 2020, rise more than 25 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
The Group says its facilities in Bicester and Martinsville, Virginia, USA are continuing to coat product as normal at present. Demand has been strong from customers in the oil and gas, flow control and precision engineering sectors throughout the first half of this financial year and the Board has not yet seen any significant reduction going into the second half.
However, the company is bracing itself for a potential lower order intake in the second half of this financial year, especially from customers in the oil and gas sector, investment decisions being deferred or the effect of increasing governmental restrictions.
While the aircraft industry is being seriously affected by the current situation, this is not affecting the developments and discussions between Hardide and Airbus and its Tier 1 suppliers on converting components to Hardide coating products. The company said: “Engineering work is currently being done by Airbus to allow for our coating on a range of components and a supply agreement with a major Tier 1 supplier is almost complete. The programme of work agreed with Airbus to gain approval for the new site in Bicester continues. Other development work with Leonardo Helicopters and other aerospace companies, both in the UK and the US, is also continuing; so far without disruption.”
The company added that the internal fit-out of its new Bicester facility has been completed and the transition to the new site currently remains on plan for completion during September 2020, although it warned that the current situation with COVID-19 may cause some delay. Hardide Coatings will relocate from its current site in Wedgwood Road, Bicester TO Longlands Road in a move that will see the firm doubling its floor space.
The Group has entered recently into its first asset finance agreement with Hitachi Capital (guaranteed by the British Business Bank) over a sum of £0.4m secured against a new coating reactor at its facility in Bicester.
The Board continues to observe all new government restrictions and will adhere to all those that apply to its businesses both in the UK and the US. A core customer informs us that it meets the US Department of Homeland Security’s criteria for an Essential Critical Infrastructure Company and, as a key part of its supply chain, the Group has been asked to ensure the facilities in the UK and USA stay open for production, unless mandated by law to close.