ELECTRIC vehicle component maker Sevcon has continued its drive back to recovery in 2012 as it grows sales.
The Gateshead-based company has seen revenues for the third quarter of its financial year grow 8% to £8.9m against a year ago after it won deals for work on a wide range of vehicles.
And the business reaped rewards with a profit of £100,000 for the three months to June 30 compared with £93,000 a year ago as the demand grows for its on-road electric vehicle applications.
Much of the revival in business follows signs of economic recovery around the world with growing demand for the firm’s Gen4 range of speed controllers for on-road vehicles.
These latest results paint a very different picture to when the firm barely broke even in 2010 after it took a hit from the recession in 2008/9.
Chief executive Matt Boyle said yesterday: “Third-quarter revenues in Sevcon’s core business, the controls segment, were up 18% from a year ago, excluding the impact of foreign currency.
“It is a very mixed picture, however, as we have seen global weakness in construction and mining activity which led to soft product demand for traditional off-road industrial electric vehicle applications.
“This was more than offset by higher demand for our Gen4 range of AC motor controllers for on-road vehicles.”
The company, which has factories in China, Mexico and Poland, has continued to see growth in overseas markets with the industrial boom in the Far East.
“China continues to grow as a market for us and is the only place in the world where we have seen growth,” said Boyle.
“Control segment revenues declined 12% and 5% in the Asia Pacific and North American markets, respectively, due to lower off-road shipments.”
It continues to invest heavily in research and development to bring out new products and said it wants to focus on this work in 2013.
The company’s determination to invest in engineering talent has led to the appointment of five engineers at its Gateshead base and it has sponsored two undergraduates from Newcastle and Northumbria universities hoping to secure work with the firm.
Sevcon, although managed from Team Valley where it employs more than half of its 100-strong workforce, has been owned since the 1960s by US-based TechOpps and is listed on the Nasdaq stock market.
The company was spun out of one of the world’s oldest electric vehicles maker, Gateshead-based Smiths Electric Vehicles.