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.