Cookies on Zenoot

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

The Friday Roundup – 25/01/2019

Every Friday, we round up our top 5 most popular reads from the week, along with sharing some of our favourite finds from around the web.

This week’s roundup sees Leonardo awarded with a multi-million pound MOD contract, Suffolk-based Muntons embark on a £73m expansion plan, plus is the Rhine river drying up Germany’s economic growth…?

Our top 5 most read this week

1. BAE Systems announce joint venture that will sustain 400 jobs

Picture: BAE Systems

BAE Systems and Rheinmetall have signed an agreement to create a joint UK-based military vehicle design, manufacturing and support business. The new joint venture will be headquartered at BAE Systems’ facility in Telford and will sustain over 400 jobs in the UK, as well as preserve key technology and engineering skills. Rheinmetall will purchase a 55% stake in the existing BAE Systems UK-based combat vehicles business, with BAE Systems retaining 45%. The establishment of the new joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals which are anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2019. Once the approvals have been completed, the joint venture will be known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL). In addition to managing and growing the existing combat vehicle support business, the intent is for the new venture to play a major role in the delivery of the British Army’s new Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) and other strategic combat vehicles programmes. RBSL will have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs, both in Telford and the wider supply chain.
Read more

2. Boyce Precision Engineering invests £6.9m in new manufacturing facility

Picture: Invest NI

Boyce Precision Engineering has officially opened its new manufacturing facility and announced plans to almost double its workforce as part of a £6.9m investment. The company has built a new facility in Portadown on a site purchased from Invest Northern Ireland. The investment is part of a five year project to increase its workforce, manufacturing capabilities, and grow international sales. Boyce Precision Engineering specialises in producing machined precision component parts for the aerospace interiors and pharmaceutical sectors. This includes manufacturing, machine prototyping, and tool and mould production. Invest NI offered Boyce Precision Engineering over £600,000 towards the construction of its new 18,000 sq. ft. factory, purchase of machinery, job creation and staff training. Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest NI, said: “This major investment by Boyce Precision Engineering is a positive endorsement of the strength of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing capabilities. Today’s factory opening marks an exciting new chapter for the company.  This new facility and the creation of 27 new high value skilled jobs is encouraging news for the Portadown area.”
Read more

3. Muntons to invest £73m over the next 5 years

Picture: Muntons

Muntons, a leading global manufacturer and producer of malted products, is set to expand following a £73m committed five-year Asset Based Lending (ABL) facility from HSBC UK. The family-owned business, which has its headquarters in Stowmarket, Suffolk, will use the funding to invest in capital projects, the first of which is being made in response to the increasing demand among consumers for malted ingredients, used in a wide range of products as diverse as breakfast cereals, confectionery and malted beverages. Malt brings benefits such as sweetness, flavour enhancement and colour addition and the rise in popularity for malt-based products will see Muntons increase its liquid malt extract plant production capacity significantly at its Stowmarket headquarters. Muntons, which encompasses both Muntons Malt and Muntons Malted Ingredients, employs over 250 staff in the UK with a further 70 staff internationally.
Read more

4. Leonardo secures £293m MOD Apache support contract

Picture: Getty/iStock

Leonardo has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the Apache AH Mk.1 Attack Helicopter fleet with comprehensive support and maintenance services. The Apache Integrated Operational Support (IOS) contract is valued at approximately £293 million and will continue to support the Apache AH Mk.1 Attack Helicopter fleet from 1st April 2019 until the aircraft goes out of service in 2024. During a visit to Leonardo Helicopters’ facility in Yeovil, Defence Minister, Stuart Andrew, said: “The Apache has provided years of crucial battlefield support to UK and coalition troops in operations in Libya and Afghanistan. This multi-million-pound contract will ensure our Armed Forces continue to benefit from this vital capability as we integrate the latest Apache model into service in 2022.”
Read more

5. Figures show UK subcontract market was up 31% in 2018

Picture: Getty/iStock

Despite uncertainty for the UK manufacturing industry as a whole, the subcontract and contract manufacturing sector remained strong in 2018 and was up 31% on the previous year, according to the latest Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) figures. The CMI for 2018 as a whole was 227, which compares to a figure of 173 for 2017. Within those headline figures though there was a 7% downward trend through the year – although this eased off in the second half. The CMI for the fourth quarter of 2018 stood at 222 – up 61% on the equivalent quarter in 2017 and fractionally down (0.45%) on the previous quarter of 2018. Looking at the fourth quarter figures by process, the subcontract machining market was down 6.4% compared to the previous quarter but 47% higher than the equivalent quarter in 2017. Fabrication was down 4.1% on the previous quarter, but up 67% on what had been a pretty dreadful final quarter of 2017. Comparing 2018 overall with 2017, machining rose by 16% and fabrication by 39%. The baseline figure of 100 represents the value of the subcontract market in 2014 when the CMI was launched.
Read more

Our favourite #GBmfg & #UKmfg tweets of the week

Recommendation roundup

Our picks of the business and manufacturing related content that caught our attention this week.

1. British bike exports soar to a record high / via @GOVUK

As Britain’s best cyclists headed for the National Track Cycling Championships in Manchester this week, an analysis of recent data from HMRC reveals that exports of bicycles made in Britain are at a record high. Asia accounts for some of the fastest growing demand, with figures showing that in the year to November 2018, bicycle exports to China rose by 109%, to Taiwan by 200% and to Malaysia by an incredible 724%. In total, bicycle exports to Asia and Oceania rose to a value of £10.8m in the same period.
Read more

2. The parched Rhine is drying up German growth / via @businessinsider

An unusual factor may have contributed to the German economy’s likely fall into a shallow recession at the tail end of 2018, a new report from the research house Pantheon Macroeconomics suggests. Writing on Tuesday, Pantheon’s eurozone economics team reports that the slump in Germany’s manufacturing sector in the final months of the year may have been exacerbated by the unusually low level of the Rhine river, which runs through Germany’s industrial heartland. Manufacturing is the big driver of the German economy, so when it falters, so too does Germany as a whole.
Read more

3. UK warehouse space nears capacity as firms stockpile for Brexit / via @guardian

Three-quarters of UK warehouse owners say their space is full to capacity and storage costs have soared by up to 25% in the past three months after a surge in Brexit-related inquiries. The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), whose 750 members have more than 9.3m sq metres (100m sq ft) of space nationwide, said there was a shortage of space close to major cities for stockpiling goods in case of holdups at ports after a no-deal exit from the EU. A survey of UKWA members from across the country last month found 85% had received Brexit-related inquiries, and 75% were unable to take on more business from new customers. Companies ranging from the carmaker Bentley to pharmaceutical firms such as GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, the folding bike maker Brompton and Premier Foods – which makes Bisto, Sharwood’s and Mr Kipling – have all announced plans for stockpiling. One warehousing expert told the Guardian that major pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco and car firms had put plans in place early as their products were both expensive and long-lasting, meaning any storage costs incurred could be more easily absorbed. But he said it was much more difficult for food companies to stockpile because of their products’ shorter shelf life and lower prices.
Read more

And finally, some bonus picks to add to your reading list this weekend:

1. Netflix bumps Lidl from top two UK brands / via @MarketingWeekEd

Netflix has leapfrogged Lidl to take second spot in YouGov’s BrandIndex buzz rankings for 2018, marking the first time in five years that the German discounters Aldi and Lidl haven’t occupied the top two spots, Netflix only entered the top 10 in 2016 but jumped from third place in 2017, when it scored 14, to second in 2018 with a score of 16.4. Lidl, which has been second for the past four years, drops to fourth place in the rankings as its score drops to 13.8, from 14.5 in 2017. Aldi, however, secured the top spot for the fifth consecutive year with a score of 18.7. YouGov’s BrandIndex measures public perceptions of brands on a daily basis across a range of metrics including quality, satisfaction and recommendation. The ranking is compiled using buzz scores, a balance of whether people have heard good or bad things about a brand over the past two weeks. The full top 10 can be viewed on the link below:
Read more

2. Tesco and Carrefour to trial refillable container scheme / via @BBCNews

Toothpaste tablets instead of tubes, ice cream in aluminium tubs and body lotion in glass bottles could be what we’re all buying in future if a new environmental scheme succeeds. Tesco and French supermarket Carrefour will trial a new, global online shopping service based on refillable rather than recyclable containers. Empty product containers are collected, cleaned and refilled for reuse. The system will first be trialled in Paris by Carrefour in the spring, as well as in a separate trial in the US and subsequently by Tesco later in the year. Consumer goods firms including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo, The Body Shop and Mondelez are all contributing products for the trial.
Read more

Spot something you think we should see? Share with us! Email and we may feature it in an upcoming post.