But he warned: “While we have seen improvements in quarter one, will that be sustained or, in the worst- case scenario, will we see a double dip?”
And he said the pace of Tanfield’s growth would depend on whether its supply chain could keep up.
“The only caveat is clearly we have some challenges ahead; while we may have turned the corner, some of our suppliers have not,” said Kell.
“The supply chain is a constraint on our recovery and speed of our growth. But it won’t stop it; at the end of the day, as Warren Buffet famously said, ‘You only find out who is swimming without their shorts on when the tide goes out’.
“We’ve lost some suppliers who have gone out of business in the recession. We are having to resource that.”
He refused to predict when the company would return to profit, because the timescale depended on outside factors. “The signs are we are coming back to profit,” said Kell.
“It’s difficult to extrapolate our trajectory to the point where we’re crossing over to break even and then profit.
“We’re pleased and content with the way that things have progressed.
“We seem to have turned the corner and hopefully we can create more jobs over the next months and years.”