GKN PLC reported that its powder metallurgy (PM) business, which includes metal injection moulding (MIM) operations at the Bad Langensalza plant in Germany, reports positive progress during the first six months of 2007 with higher sales, profits, and margins.
The company expects PM to continue improving in the second half of the year.PM sales were £309 million compared with £313 million in the same period in 2006. It is estimated that, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, the increase was approximately £14 million (5%).
Europe and Asia recorded most growth, however North American operations suffered because of reduced vehicle production. Trading profit for the PM business was £15 million, compared to £13 million in the first half of 2006.GKN stated that approximately £50 million of new business was won in the period which will continue to support the anticipated annual growth rate of 6%-8% for 2008 and beyond.
There was also further success in moving into new product areas and a number of development contracts were entered into with vehicle manufacturers and fellow tier one suppliers.
The final elements of the restructuring programme announced in February 2007 are reported to be proceeding according to plan and the final plant closures will be completed during the second half of the year. In China production of the first PM parts commenced in May 2007, and in Argentina work began on the construction of a new plant to support the anticipated high growth in demand in South America. Powder Injection Moulding International recently toured GKN’s Bad Langensalza metal injection moulding plant and a full report will be published in the December 2007 issue.
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