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Sales rise puts Castle Precision Engineering back in the black

CASTLE Precision Engineering surged back into the black in the latest financial year helped by strong growth in sales of the components it makes for customers in industries like aerospace and car manufacturing.

ECONOMIC COG: Castle Precision Engineering, led by managing director Marcus Tiefenbrun, is undergoing a transformation period. Picture: Cate Gillon
ECONOMIC COG: Castle Precision Engineering, led by managing director Marcus Tiefenbrun, is undergoing a transformation period. Picture: Cate Gillon

Led by managing director Marcus Tiefenbrun, the Glasgow-based firm made a £475,000 pre-tax profit in the year to July and enjoyed a significant improvement in its trading fortunes.

The privately owned firm had made losses in each of the two preceding years as it grappled with the effects of a long economic slowdown.

Industries like car manufacturing were impacted by cuts in spending by consumers and firms.

Castle Precision Engineering recorded a 7% increase in sales, to £16.9 million, in the year to July, up from £15.8m in the year before.

Writing in the latest accounts, directors of the company said conditions remained challenging, during the year to July.

However, they said forecasts prepared by the company "indicate a positive outlook ahead".

The directors added: "The company continues to commit to its long-term strategy of transitioning away from the traditional sub-contract operations market and towards being the single source finished product provider for its customers.

"The transformation brings significant short-term challenges but is key to securing the company's long-term future and position in a higher value market."

The company has been building the wheels for the Bloodhound supersonic vehicle, which will attempt to reach a speed of 1000mph in South Africa in 2016.

Earlier this month Castle Precision Engineering announced plans to recruit 25 people to help handle its expected workload.

The company employs around 150 people currently at its base in south Glasgow.

In the accounts directors noted the company did not pay a dividend for the year to July, partly to preserve funds for capital investment.

Directors received remuneration totalling £276,915 in the most recent financial year, compared with remuneration of £292,184 in the previous year.

The company contributed £40,800 to pension schemes for directors, compared with £28,200 in the year before.

Castle Precision Engineering is one of a number of Scottish success stories developed by the Tiefenbrun family.

The company was founded as the Textile Engineering Company in 1951 by Jack Tiefenbrun. Born in Poland in 1921, Mr Tiefenbrun moved to the UK from Austria in 1938.

The Textile Engineering Company began life supporting clients like the former Singer Sewing Machine Company operations on the Clyde before diversifying into making components for a range of industries.

An early champion of the benefits of computer aided engineering methods, the company was renamed Castle Precision Engineering in 1963. It went on to spawn the Linn hi-fi business as an offshoot in 1973.

Linn Products made a successful move into the market for digital streaming products in 2007. It is run by Marcus Tiefenbrun's brother, Gilad.

Castle Precision Engineering reported pre-tax losses of £418,000 for the year to July 2012, and losses of £188,000 for the preceding period.

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