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Profits plunge at textiles firm J&D Wilkie

J&D Wilkie, an Angus-based company known for bullet-proof vests, has seen profits fall by more than 30%.

Wilkie, which manufactures technical textiles including body armour, saw operating profits in its holding company crash from £1.01million to £691,435 and pre-tax profits tumble from £1.1m to £683,039.

Turnover fell from £18.8m to £17.2m, almost entirely due to a £1.5m fall in overseas sales. As well as its ballistic and stab-proof vests, the privately owned business makes fabrics for a range of industries.

The Kirriemuir-based group specialises in high-technology products for niche markets, and has nine constituent companies, including two in Scotland, three in China (manufacturing and engineering), two in England (research and development), one in India (engineering) and one in Japan (sales).

The directors said the group "continues to see its investments in China increasing while maintaining a more specialist base in Scotland". They said activities in China and India "continued during the year", and that overall Wilkie had achieved "acceptable returns in the current difficult trading conditions".They concluded: "The group is continuing with a strong development programme and is optimistic for the future in many niche markets."

Overseas markets accounted for £11.m against £6.1m (down from £6.2m) in the UK in the year to 30 June 2013. Capital expenditure fell from £653,725 to £603,141, but debt rose from £985,665 to £1.67m at the year end following a new £1.2m bank loan. The net outflow from financing costs was £272,445.

Average monthly employee numbers rose to 274 from 222. Remuneration for the highest-paid director, assumed to be controlling director Mr R Rowan, rose from £185,763 to £198,829.

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