AN injection moulding firm says it has turned the corner with business returning to pre-credit crunch levels and is poised for growth after a £100,000 investment.
Formula Plastics manufactures a range of components for the automotive industry,and works with some of its biggest names in the UK and Europe.
The Newton Aycliffe-based firm was hit hard by the downturn in the automotive industry in 2008, but over the last year, has begun to recover, and by achieving growth of 20% in the last year, has got back to its previous annual turnover figure of £1.5m.
And it secured a £100,000 investment from the Growth Fund managed by regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers as part of the Finance for Business North East Fund initiative.
The firm has had a long relationship with NEL, which provided start-up funding for Formula in 1996 and made a number of investments since.
Formula Plastics, which employs 33 people, supplies plastics components for Honda, Nissan,Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover through its links with Automotive IndustryTier 1 suppliers.
As well as its automotive work, Formula Plastics supplies tooling and mouldings for other major companies, including Thorn Lighting and Smithers Oasis, and is developing its offering in the electronics sector with a North East- based client with interests in China.
Managing director John Suggate said: “Because many of our competitors weren’t able to emulate our survival, we can now see a lot of opportunities to pick up additional contracts, and we’ll be appointing our first sales manager with a view to bringing new skills into the business and quickly expanding our customer base.”
Targeted at regional businesses which are at a development and growth stage, the Growth Fund forms part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund, which will see £125m of investment capital injected into the region by the European Investment Bank, the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13 and the regional development agency over the next five years.
David Thomas, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, said Formula was well set to maintain the growth figures it has achieved in the last year.