Engineering business C Spencer Ltd has delivered a resilient trading performance in its latest published accounts in the face of difficult market conditions.
The company reported turnover of £52m and a pre-tax profit of £1.7m in the year ending 31st March 2023, despite the head winds of high inflation, rising interest rates, Brexit hangovers and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
C Spencer Ltd trades under the Spencer Group brand and delivers high-quality solutions to complex engineering challenges for its blue-chip client base in the rail, bridges, industrial, infrastructure and energy markets.
During the 2022-23 business year, C Spencer Ltd completed a series of flagship projects, including a major upgrade of Manchester International Depot to transform it into a modern train servicing and stabling facility, and maintenance and repair projects on some of the UK’s most iconic bridges, including renovation of Union Chain Bridge on the English/Scottish border and the Grade I listed Menai Suspension Bridge in North Wales.
Prestigious contracts currently being delivered by C Spencer Ltd include construction of the £26.5m White Rose Rail Station in Leeds and a flagship international project to create a bespoke access system to inspect cables on the new Pattullo Bridge in British Columbia, Canada.
Charlie Spencer OBE, founder and Executive Chairman of the Hull-based business, said:
“The considerable economic uncertainty during the year depressed capital investment in the UK economy, stalling the progress of a number of schemes as clients carefully considered the impact of escalating raw commodity prices.
“Despite these challenges, we continued to deliver projects to an exceptionally high standard and secure a healthy pipeline of new work, much of it repeat business with our existing clients.
“The capability we have to both design and deliver engineering projects using in-house resources is a key differentiator and gives us a competitive advantage in the markets we serve. These skills also enable us to fully engage with our supply partners to drive full value for our clients.”
During the year to 31st March 2023, C Spencer Ltd continued its strong focus on developing the company’s pool of young talent by taking on 14 apprentices from Hull’s employer-led school, Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC).
The business is one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners and a further intake during the current trading year means the company has now recruited 50 apprentices from the school in the past five years.
C Spencer Ltd is also leading the way in driving for greater gender balance in a traditionally male-dominated industry. By actively promoting women in engineering, the business increased the percentage of female employees to 18% at the year end.
In addition, two of the five Board members are female, holding key executive positions within the business.
Mr Spencer added:
“We’re proud of our very significant and ongoing commitment to bring new talent into the business and the engineering industry.
“It’s well known that the sector has an ageing workforce, so it’s vitally important to bring through a new generation of engineers. The young recruits we have taken on have made a fantastic contribution to the business and many now have key roles in some of our most important projects.
“Equally, we’re continuing to make strong progress in addressing the gender imbalance in the industry, with a growing proportion of women across the business. This is evidenced by the composition of our Board.”
C Spencer Ltd entered the current financial year with secured work totalling £62m and a strong pipeline of opportunities.