Pressure Technologies plc has announced its preliminary results for the period ended 27th September 2008, showing significant revenue increase and a healthy pre-tax profit of £5m.

Among the many highlights for the group, revenue increased to £23.7m compared to 2007 revenue of £15.1m and operating profit before exceptional costs rose from £1.9m to £4.9m.

The substantial pre-tax profit of £5m had increased from £1.4m in 2007.

A record order book of £23m showed a rise of £5m when compared to the year previous, while the company notes that there is ongoing investment in skills base and research and development (R&D).

Pressure Technologies is the holding company for Chesterfield Special Cylinders Limited (CSC), designing, manufacturing and offering retesting and refurbishment services for a range of speciality high pressure, seamless steel gas cylinders.

The business has been conducted under the ‘Chesterfield’ brand, which is a long-established name in the cylinders and specialised pressure vessel market. The parent Pressure Technologies group also notes though, that its diversification strategy continues through the establishment of the Chesterfield BioGas division.

Chesterfield BioGas was formed in November 2008 following the signing of a co-operation agreement with Greenlane® Biogas Limited - a world leader in biogas upgrading, from raw biogas to vehicle quality fuel. The agreement gives Pressure Technologies exclusive rights to market Greenlane® equipment in the UK and Eire.

Chesterfield BioGas will provide turnkey solutions for the cleaning, storage and dispensing of bio-methane, produced from waste water treatment and anaerobic digestion of organic waste.

Reflecting on the results and positive performances, Chairman Richard Shacklady said, “I am delighted to announce an outstanding set of results for a ‘real engineering company’. Pressure Technologies has delivered exceptional organic growth and our strong balance sheet leaves us well positioned to exploit a number of medium-term opportunities we have already identified.”

“We are also on course to exceed one of the major aims in our flotation strategy, to be a £40m turnover business within five years, as the group achieved record exports to its oil and gas exploration and production customers, as well as winning selected overseas defence contracts.”

Affirming this delight, Pressure Technologies Chief Executive John Hayward, enthused, “It was a year of exceptional organic growth, which was recognised in our share price performance relative to the AIM market. We exited the year with a record order book and a strong pipeline of quoted projects in all markets. This seems somewhat at odds with the world financial climate but may be explained, in part, by the markets in which we operate.”

“In our main market, the oil and gas sector, there remains a shortage of semi-submersible drilling rigs and drill ships to develop deep water hydrocarbon reserves. This has created strong demand for our products, which started in 2005 when oil prices were averaging around $50 per barrel. All our other markets, in terms of orders and levels of quotations, remain at or above historical levels.”

Concluding and looking ahead, Hayward added, “In summary, 2008 was another successful year for the group, delivering solid growth and shareholder value. Our strong order book and pipeline prospects should ensure that we deliver another good result in 2009.”

Strategic aims & progression
The group’s Business Growth Strategy is geared towards penetrating key growth sectors, notably global energy and high pressure gases markets - establishing a presence in new niche markets and acquiring businesses which offer synergistic benefits.

This strategy is thought to be progressing well, with long term export contracts and orders secured from overseas defence and aerospace programmes in Europe and Asia, while the group has also continued to win orders for offshore diving support vessels.

In the industrial gas trailer refurbishment sector, contracts have been secured stretching into 2009 from a major industrial gas supplier, and there is continued investment in R&D programmes - including composite material cylinders and internal selected surface coatings, which are attracting interest from both industrial and defence customers.