THE new chief govt of Scottish Leather-based Group has underlined his confidence within the firm’s progress potential because it embarks on a serious recruitment drive following a big uptick in orders.
Steve Henning changed long-standing boss Iain McFadyen on the helm 5 weeks in the past and has been instantly impressed with the growth prospects of a family-owned firm that may hint its historical past again over eight generations.
The corporate, which provides leather-based to high-profile names within the automotive and aviation sectors, is within the midst of a recruitment drive to fill 60 roles, with orders up 75 per cent on the identical stage final 12 months. Workers are being sought to fill roles in all kinds of capabilities, from engineering and manufacturing to accounting and IT, because the enterprise appears to be like to service rising demand from shoppers resembling Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Polestar, Lucid, Emirates, and Ryanair.
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Mr Henning joined Scottish Leather-based Group after holding senior govt roles for corporations in a variety of sectors, together with Dyson, Franke, Buhler and Vispring in North America, Germany and Switzerland. He stated the corporate, which employs round 1,000 folks throughout Renfrewshire, is lucky to have a roster of “wonderful clients”. And he declared it was effectively positioned to develop, regardless of the well-documented provide chain difficulties and value inflation which might be blighting the outlook for the financial system.
The agency’s most up-to-date accounts present that it made a pre-tax lack of £1.06 million within the 12 months ended March 31, following a revenue of £766,000 the 12 months earlier than, amid ongoing provide chain disruption.
Nonetheless, turnover elevated to £90.05m from £73m on the again of upper volumes of leather-based produced and offered, which got here because the aviation and automotive sectors emerged from Covid restrictions.
Whereas Mr Henning emphasised that Scottish Leather-based Group was not immune from inflationary pressures, he stated the corporate was benefitting from its place supplying the top-end of the market, which means it isn’t competing for enterprise on volume-led merchandise. With shoppers within the automotive trade promoting autos for as a lot as £80,000, he advised The Herald: “Individuals on the luxurious finish are much less affected by financial worries. We had been nonetheless seeing good demand by Covid.”
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He stated that if it was “regular automobiles” the corporate was supplying, manufactures can be taking motion to “drive down prices”.
“I’m not saying there is no such thing as a value strain, however it’s [manageable],” he stated. “If you’re speaking about Rolls-Royce or Jaguar … they’re targeted on top-end autos.”
The recruitment drive comes shortly after Scottish Leather-based Group opened a brand new £4 million leather-based slicing plant within the former Chivas Brothers bottling plant in Paisley.
The location employs round 200 folks, who interact in slicing, packing, and distributing leather-based to clients within the automotive and airline sectors, after receiving the uncooked product from the corporate’s tannery in Bridge of Weir.
Present tasks embody a cope with Ryanair, which is changing the material upholstery on its plane seats with leather-based equipped by the Scottish agency.
Scottish Leather-based Group contains three companies, Bridge of Weir, Lang, and Muirhead, which between them have round 500 years of operational expertise.
Mr Henning praised the house owners of the corporate for persevering with to put money into its infrastructure all through the pandemic, highlighting a £13m challenge in 2020 to improve services in Bridge of Weir. That included the event of a waste-water plant, which permits it to reuse water that it’s used within the tanning course of.
Mr Henning stated the corporate was on monitor to turn out to be internet zero when it comes to carbon emissions by 2025.
“We use as little water as we are able to,” Mr Hennings stated.
Requested to touch upon the outlook for the agency, Mr Henning declared that, given present demand from the automotive and aviation sectors: “I’m assured we is not going to simply get again to pre-Covid ranges, however exceed them.”
And he underlined the corporate’s ongoing dedication to the native communities wherein its corporations are based mostly: “Renfrewshire will at all times be the guts and soul of the enterprise.”