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S Norton hails 7% rise in pre-tax profit

2000 s norton head office

Scrap metal firm S Norton has said a large increase in its turnover, which helped pre-tax profit grow 7% to more than £25m in 2017, has been driven by higher ferrous prices.

The company’s turnover shot up from £205m to £272m in 2017 in the year to 31 December 2017, according to its annual report.

Chairman John Norton said: “Despite some volatility along the way, dollar sales prices for the main ferrous grades finished the year more than 20% higher than they had started at [throughout 2017].

“These price increases helped to drive turnover up by a third to more than £272m, and likewise operating profit rose significantly, from £16m to over £23m.”

S Norton also made “large gains” from changes to the foreign exchange rate in 2016 and a further £2m in 2017.

But Norton struck a note of warning over future profits.

He said: “Although long-range forecasts anticipate ever-increasing demand for scrap products, uncertainty over the terms of Brexit will cast something of a cloud over the UK economy in the short run, with the potential to impact on scrap arisings as a result.”

He also warned that current tensions between China and the US on tariffs could have a “detrimental effect on demand should a full-blown trade war ensue”.

The company said it has identified several major investment projects at its sites in Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton and London.

Technical director Matt Norton said: “As a family business, we take a long-term view. Our policy is to invest continually in good quality equipment to maintain our position at the forefront of the industry.”

S Norton bought Cheshire-based Axion Recycling in June this year.

 

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