In its latest trading update, for the four months ended October 31, Cheltenham-headquartered thermal energy management and pumping specialist, Spirax‐Sarco Engineering, said that despite a challenging economic environment, trading has continued to hold up well.
Compared with the same period of 2019, global Industrial Production was down four per cent in the third quarter, a strong improvement on the 12 per cent contraction in the second quarter. Following robust month-on-month IP growth in June and July, the rate of growth slowed markedly in August and September as industrial activity began to approach pre-pandemic levels.
Consistent with expectations shared at the Half Year results announcement in August, which showed revenues of £569.7 million, the organic sales decline in the four months to the end of October was less pronounced than in the first half of the year, supported by the recovery of global IP. Overall, the rate at which reported sales declined was marginally less than in the first half of the year, when reported sales benefited from the inclusion of Thermocoax which joined the Group in May 2019.
In the Steam Specialties business, organic sales in the four months to October declined less than in the first half of the year as the contraction in IP lessened across all regions and China returned to IP growth.
In the Electric Thermal Solutions business, organic sales in the four months to October also declined at a lower rate than in the first half of the year, as a similar organic sales decline in Chromalox was mitigated by strong organic sales growth in Thermocoax.
In the Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group, organic sales growth was higher in the four months to October compared with the first half of the year, as sales to the Biopharmaceutical sector remained strong and sales to the other industrial sectors recovered in line with global IP. Watson‐Marlow’s exposure to the Biopharmaceutical and Medical Device markets makes it more resilient to the impact of COVID‐19, with many customers working on vaccine development and preparing for mass vaccine production.
Earlier this year the company announced that Neil Daws, Managing Director Steam Specialties and Executive Director will retire at the end of the year. Neil’s successor is Maurizio Preziosa, who will take over as Managing Director Steam Specialties from 1st January 2021 and become a member of the Group Executive Committee. Maurizio will be based at the Group Headquarters in Cheltenham, UK. Maurizio joined the Group in November 2011 as General Manager for Spirax-Sarco Italy, progressing to the role of Regional General Manager for Southern Europe in 2014, before becoming Divisional Director for Gestra in May 2017 where he led the successful integration and growth of the Gestra acquisition.