TOP 50 MANUFACTURERS: Sheffield’s Ancon has right royal year

HM The Queen receiving Ancon managing director Stuart Maxwell
HM The Queen receiving Ancon managing director Stuart Maxwell

Go Ancon!

The Sheffield fixings firm has had fantastic year, winning a Queen’s Award for International Trade and grabbing a place in the Top 50 Manufacturers in Sheffield City Region for the first time.

Ancon Building Products' Head Office in Sheffield

Ancon Building Products' Head Office in Sheffield

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The stainless steel fittings and products manufacturer turned over £48 million – up from £40m the year previous – and made a pre-tax profit of £8.2m – an annual rise of almost £3m – according to accounts filed at the end of December.

The numbers were good enough to secure it 48th place on the main table (Page 5) and third in the list of Sheffield’s most profitable companies.

It caps a spectacular year for the Attercliffe firm in which managing director Stuart Maxwell met the Queen.

Ancon welder

Ancon welder

He said: “Ancon’s success is the result of a clearly-defined long-term strategy to drive international sales growth.

“We have focused on developing a range of high-integrity steel products which meet local requirements and are backed by market-specific communications, product approvals and strong distribution channels.

“Our achievement was recognised in April this year when we were awarded our second Queen’s Award for Enterprise, this time in the International Trade category.

“Key factors to our success in the UK and abroad include a focus on innovation, developing new products that better serve our customers and improving processes to eliminate unnecessary costs and reduce lead times.

“But above all, it is the dedication and knowledge of Ancon’s employees that is fundamental in driving the business forward. The future is very positive. We are taking full advantage of the recovery in the UK construction market, we continue to grow six successful overseas businesses in mainland Europe, the United Arab Emirates and Australasia and we have opened distribution channels in new markets including the USA, Russia and South Africa.”

The firm, which employs 250 of its 350-strong UK workforce in Sheffield, won a Queen’s Award for Innovation three years ago.

The rest of the table includes such regulars as Firth Rixson – now owned by Alcoa – CPL Industries, William Cook Holdings, GRI Group, Special Steel Co, James Durrans, Forgemasters and Ronseal.

Jeld-Wen’s losses increased from £10.6m last time to £11m and at the foot of the table Outokumpu lost £11.8m, a significant increase on the £2.1m it lost last year.