Unipart Group profit grows 13% in 2017


Unipart Group has announced its financial results for the year ending 31st December 2017. The total Group sales (excluding joint ventures) were £757.6m, showing growth on 2016 (£747.7m). Total revenue including joint ventures also grew to £889.6m from £869.2m in 2016. Group profit before interest and tax also increased from £23.8m in 2016 to £26.9m in 2017.

Commenting on the results, Chairman and Group Chief Executive John Neill said that the Group has continued its investment in digital technologies and in developing the skills to deploy those technologies most effectively.

“We continue to invest heavily in digital technology to provide high quality innovative services to our clients. Our commitment to The Unipart Way, our proprietary system for continuous productivity improvement, has enabled us to deliver sustainable productivity improvements for customers both in the UK and internationally,” he said.

“However, uncertainty about Brexit is a serious concern affecting our investment decisions. In the automotive sector for example, frictionless trade is fundamental to on-going competitiveness and the viability of the volume manufacturers. We need the conflicting messages from government to be replaced by a coherent, consistent and unambiguous commitment to frictionless trade which mirrors existing customs union conditions for the long term and not just for a transitionary period.

“There have been a number of high profile examples in the media of contracts which have been awarded based solely on price. These provide insightful lessons for many industry sectors and reinforce our commitment to prioritise exceptional customer service by driving quality up and cost down through digital innovation and the application of The Unipart Way.”

During the year, Unipart Logistics signed a new five-year contract with Skyand won new business with Centrica and Liberty Global. Unipart Logistics also continues to extend its operations in China with additional agreements in place with two luxury automotive providers, including the provision of aftermarket supply chain services from a new 1.4m sq ft regional distribution hub. Unipart Dorman, part of Unipart Rail, has won new signalling business in Canada with Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency in the province of Ontario.

Unipart also opened two new U.S. distribution centres for a global automotive customer in Chicago, Illinois and Jacksonville, Florida. In addition, the company opened a new North American distribution hub for McLaren Automotive, significantly strengthening our presence across the USA and Canada.

During the year, Unipart Expert Practices began projects with Rosti Automotive and DS Smith, the paper, packaging and recycling business. Through the use of The Unipart Way, coupled with Unipart’s supply chain expertise, Unipart has demonstrably reduced their clients’ processing costs, helped to improve product quality and service, and increased the resilience of their supply chains.

Last year, Unipart announced plans for digital transformation across the Group. For example, Unipart Rail’s acquisition, Instrumentel Ltd, is now contributing to the digital modernisation of the railway network. Instrumentel creates sensors for extreme environments such as in Formula 1 cars capturing 20m data points per second. This know-how is now being applied to railways to give insights into operational performance through ‘real-time’ remote condition monitoring and diagnostics, which previously was not possible.

Unipart has seen the benefit from its investment in an agile, innovative approach to digital product development. For example, Unipart successfully implemented an entire warehouse management system in under a week for a new client in the retail sector. The bespoke, full-scale WMS system can be adapted and tailored by in-house Unipart digital software engineers in a fraction of the time it would take to implement more traditional, established WMS solutions.

MetLase, a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Unipart, has continued to innovate with its patented tooling techniques to create solutions to engineering problems. The company is working as a partner in the Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG) at the AMRC’s Factory 2050 facility. MetLase’s skills and modular fixturing technology will help to develop “smart tooling”.

Source: Unipart Group

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