Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Turnover at Tanfield Soars by over 150%; Jessica Aims to Roll out Her Shirtmaking in Association with RBS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Turnover at Tanfield Soars by over 150%; Jessica Aims to Roll out Her Shirtmaking in Association with RBS

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Hebden

MANUFACTURER the Tanfield Group has seen turnover soar by more than 150% to pounds 92.8m in the first half of the year despite months of turmoil which has seen 100 staff laid off and its share price plummet.

Shares in the Washington-based company, which makes electric vehicles and lifting platforms, were valued at 186p this time last year but had fallen dramatically to 5.75p on Monday night. Yesterday's results saw the share price rally, finishing up 54% at 8.91p.

Company chairman and founder Roy Stanley blamed short-selling, market rumours and claims that the company had run out of cash as factors in its share price collapse.

But yesterday Mr Stanley said Tanfield was now in a strong position to progress forward to a profitable future, with healthy cash reserves of pounds 12m to call on.

"Our share price fall caused nervousness amongst our customers and the management team spent a lot of time working with our customers and assuring them we were in good shape," he said. "The management team have done that and we are now cracking on to develop the business. We are operating in difficult economic conditions and we have had to rein in our growth projections, but we are now well-placed to build upon our success to date."

In July this year Mr Stanley returned to take day-to-day control of the company and to undertake a root and branch review of its operations.

Since then the number of staff who work at its factories in Washington and Tanfield Lea, Stanley, have been reduced and the company now employs 100 less staff in the UK at 600.

It employs 1,100 people worldwide with the rest primarily based in the US.

This review has also seen it withdraw from making the Norquip range of airport equipment and it has implemented tighter stock control.

The company is primarily known for its range of Smiths electric vehicles and Upright and Snorkel powered access aerial lifts.

The results for the six months to the end of June this year showed a 91% growth in operating profits to pounds 10. …

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