September 2, 2019 @ 15:23 by Richard Dawson
A North East business has announced plans to kickstart a major investment drive after a record-breaking year saw revenues soar by 85 per cent.
Blyth-based robotics business Tharsus Group, which was awarded Company of the Year 2019 at the North East Business Awards, reported a dramatic increase in turnover during 2018, with revenues skyrocketing from £27.7 million to £51.2 million.
Tharsus Group designs and builds advanced robotic systems at their production facility in Blyth, Northumberland, and counts online supermarket Ocado among its clients.
To help drive further growth, the company now plans to quadruple its manufacturing capacity for advanced machine and robots (AMRs), and will be moving to a new £3 million headquarters in Northumberland later this autumn.
They hope that the move will allow them to meet rapidly increasing customer demand, driving “significant revenue growth across current customers” to boost profitability in the face of rising costs.
Despite the dramatic rise in turnover, Tharsus saw a fall in operational profit last year, with the company reporting that profits are down to £800,000 as a result of the continued investment spending. It’s hoped that the recent investment will help to boost profits in the long-term.
Chief executive Brian Palmer commented: “Costs to create capacity and elevate executional capabilities continue to increase ahead of revenue growth.
“The board consider that there is an investment case in order to be capable of absorbing further business growth from an economy seeking productivity gains in many sectors.
“This continued investment has impacted the profitability that would otherwise have been achieved during the financial year.”
The company also owns robotics company Universal Wolf, a more traditional manufacturing and fabrication business.
While the majority of the company’s revenue growth came from Tharsus Ltd, Universal Wolf also reported a 22 per cent rise in revenue, with further contract wins earlier in 2019 expected to produce strong results for the next financial year.
Tharsus Group plans to continue expanding Universal Wolf by opening a second factory which will double its current size.