Industry/sector: Manufacturing and engineering
Date founded: 2001
The boss: Michael Last
Location: South West
Latest turnover: £33.2m
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 36.24
Latest EBITDA: £8m
Formaplex serves a blue-chip customer base and in 2010 won the machining and assembly contract for the MoD Foxhound vehicles. In July 2013, the company was placed at number 45 in the The Sunday Times’ International Track 200 ranking of Britain’s private companies with the fastest growing overseas sales. It recently partnered with TaeguTec, a supplier of cutting-edge tool solutions, to join the Formaplex electric car world record team.
It is geared for more success, however, as it is investing £3m over the next year to increase its capacity and capability with support from Dunedin, which backed the management buyout of Formaplex back in 2007. With this financial and operational support, Formaplex has gone on to become a UK market-leading specialist of tooling and lightweight components for the automotive, aerospace, defence and motor sports markets.
The company said it would use the investment to further increase capacity with a new 100,000 sq ft factory, expand its current manufacturing facilities and invest in new manufacturing technology.
Growth has been positively impacted by renewed confidence in the UK’s automotive sector and increase of international demand for UK premium car brands – a trend supported by the fact that Rolls-Royce and Bentley recently posted record sales for 2014. The company also suggested that it benefited from regulatory drivers such as the call for reduced emissions and improved fuel efficiency, which has increased the use of lightweight materials and components that it supplied to vehicle and aircraft manufacturers.
Over the last five years, Formaplex has experienced a fourfold increase in its growth, with turnover increasing from £9.4m in 2009 its current level. Michael Last, managing director, expects sales to top £45m by the year-end.
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