Bodycote four-month revenue slips to £208m

Macclesfield-based heat treatment and thermal processing giant Bodycote plc said on Thursday its revenue for the four-month period to April 30, 2021, was £208 million, down 2% at constant currency and 4% at actual rates.

The company also said that Anne Quinn intends to retire as chair and to step down from the board in due course “but no later than the 2022 Annual General Meeting” and that a search to replace Quinn will now commence.

Bodycote said in a trading update: “Automotive revenues have recovered strongly across all geographies with growth of 19% in the period.

“Indeed, we even registered growth in January and February which in the prior year were barely impacted by the pandemic.

“The shape of the business for the remainder of the year is still emerging and will depend in part on the pace of resolution of the global chip shortage, which is impacting parts of our business.

“General industrial revenues were up 1%, with revenue levels continuing to improve quarter by quarter as industrial production recovers.

“Aerospace & defence revenues were 19% lower (35% lower on an organic basis) as the civil aerospace business remains subdued.

“The news flow from the OEMs is moving in a positive direction with production rates improving for narrow-body aircraft as well as some pick up in flying hours for wide-body aircraft.

“This is leading to some very early signs of pick up in our business, although, with surplus inventory levels persisting in the supply chain for specific platforms, it is too early to tell if this will develop into a sustained improvement in revenue levels.

“Energy now only represents 7% of group revenues and were 21% lower, reflecting a substantial drop-off in both onshore and offshore business in reaction to the significant fall in demand driven by the pandemic.

“The recovery in oil prices in recent months has yet to materialise in greater demand for our oil and gas businesses.

“Given the highly volatile trading patterns through 2020, it is informative to look at constant currency revenue development against the equivalent period in 2019, which provides a more stable comparison.

Against 2019, automotive revenues in the period were down 6%, with general industrial revenues down 8%.

“Aerospace & defence revenues unsurprisingly fared worse and were down 35% on an organic basis.

“Overall, total group revenues were down 13% (19% on an organic basis) …”