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Chamber recognise Forgemasters' sustained business success

01 October 2009

Forgemasters' longstanding contribution to the city's business community was recognised by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce at its annual 'Celebration of Business' presentation.

The company, which has operated in Sheffield for more than 200 years and currently has 800 employees, is now at the forefront of global engineering for the power generation and offshore industries.

Sheffield Forgemasters' director Peter Birtles was on hand to receive the prestigious certificate from Nigel Tomlinson, chief executive of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce at the Chamber's 152nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria. 

The company faced huge hurdles after emerging from a management buyout in 2005, but has turned around with the creation of new manufacturing procedures to increase efficiency, reduce the cost of production and lower energy consumption.

The company's success in achieving this has been a wholesale revision across its key manufacturing departments and a heavy investment programme, enabling SFIL to capitalise on, and compete within, key international markets, turning the fortunes of this industrial giant around. 

SFIL now boasts a record profit performance, a sales turnover of more than £100m and a £120m order book. Sales for 2009 are anticipated to be the highest ever and it is winning influential contracts with Chinese, Indian, Russian and Brazilian companies. Exports now account for 80 per cent of its business.

SFIL is currently looking at funding streams for a 15,000 tonne open-die forging press which would enable it to produce 100 per cent of the forgings required for the UK's own nuclear power programme and also tap into global demand for these large components. 

This was the second successive year of the presentations which marks chamber members who have been trading for more than 25, 50, 75 or 100 years.

Nigel Tomlinson, chief executive of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce added: "Established companies and long standing business links are crucial to the make up of a successful commercial base in a city like Sheffield. Forgemasters has added to and supported, the economy and community in Sheffield for the last 200 years. We are delighted to acknowledge its success as a strongly performing UK company based here in Sheffield."