Scots arm of firm behind Gore-Tex sees profit surge

The Scottish arm of the firm behind waterproof fabric Gore-Tex has a “sound platform” for growth after posting a surge in profits in its latest financial year.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 5:14 pm
The firm said its fabrics division in the UK has remained 'stable'. Picture: Pete Stone.

Livingston-based WL Gore & Associates (UK) – part of the multi-billion-dollar US-headquartered parent company – announced a pre-tax operating profit of £23.1 million for the 12 months ended 31 March, up from £4.5m in the prior year.

Pre-tax profit amounted to £24m, swinging from a £10m loss. A dividend was not recommended by directors. “The strong balance sheet continues to provide a sound platform,” the firm said.

Revenue amounted to £61m, representing a 13 per cent year-on-year jump – with the UK contributing about £42m, EU countries £10m and the rest of the world £9m.

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The US-headquartered firm has created products used in medicine. Picture: Cathy Yeulet.

The business also said its directors have assessed the risks associated with Brexit. “Currently, the directors remain of the opinion that the global mix of future shipments will mitigate any potential negative consequences of Brexit on the trading activities of the company.”

Additionally, during the 12-month period, its average workforce fell from 223 to 192 due to the internal transfer of staff within the group.

Stable

The firm said its fabrics division in the UK has remained “stable” while the performance arm, which designs and manufactures products for the electrical and industrial sectors, along with medical product division, have seen revenue growth expected to “steadily” continue in the coming years.

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These days, Gore UK sells its entire product portfolio globally – with the range comprising electronics, industrial products, medical products and fabrics, including the Gore-Tex brand for garments, shoes and accessories. Gore UK has sites in Dundee as well as Livingston with around 200 “associates” – out of more than 10,500 worldwide – with staff part owners of the enterprise.

Rodger Pheely, Gore UK board member, said: “Our products continue to provide significant added value to our customers and our continued focus on ensuring great customer experiences across our global operations will continue to deliver strong results for our businesses.”

WL Gore & Associates says it is one of the 200 largest privately held US companies, turning over $3.7 billion and focused on solving “complex technical challenges in demanding environments — from outer space to the world’s highest peaks to the inner workings of the human body”.

It has created products for medical implants, fabric laminates, and cable, filtration, sealant, membrane, venting and fibre technologies for diverse industries – having been granted more than 5,500 patents worldwide.