The directors of historic West Midlands group Rubery Owen are aiming to make the most of its positive future outlook by increasing turnover and profit “significantly”, newly filed accounts have revealed. It comes after a multimillion-pound growth in sales and pre-tax profit.
Once a component manufacturing giant, the Rubery Owen Group of Companies now comprises vehicle distribution, cleaning technologies and lower carbon power management businesses which service clients in the automotive and engineering industries.
It owns car dealership Shukers Ltd, Rotech Laboratories in Wednesbury, Stafford’s Burrows Grass Machinery, soap maker Techtron and cleaning products developer Rozone.
In the year to 31 December 2014, the group turned over £56.3m, up from £52m a year earlier. Pre-tax profit also almost doubled to £1.6m from £877,319.
A statement from directors revealed that growth in its Shukers business, which has dealerships in Shrewsbury and Ludlow, was driven by growth in the Land Rover, Subaru and Izuzu brands. The company is also continued to “invest significantly” with further growth on the horizon for 2015.
It added that Rotech had continued to build on its “excellent performance” in 2013 and investment in Techtron had led to improvement. Further investment is also planned for Rozone’s sales and marketing activities following a strong year, while the group will continue to manage costs and develop its Burrows Grass Machinery division.
“All of the group companies made strong progress in 2014 and are projected to grow, some significantly, in 2015,” the statement said.
“The outlook for 2015 is promising.”
Rubery Owen was formed as JT Rubery and Brothers in 1884. It made components for industry, including motor chassis, steelwork and aerospace products.
The group enjoyed significant growth throughout the Second World War and the decades that followed, employing 17,000 staff across 63 businesses in five continents. But is faced a “significant downturn” in the recession of the 1970s and 80s and closed its Darlaston factory in 1981.
However, Rubery Owen “reinvented” itself in line with market demands and now services the industry through its subsidiary companies rather than manufacturing components. It now employs almost 200 staff in the West Midlands.