Somerset-headquartered Gooch & Housego making progress on strategic plan

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Somerset-headquartered Gooch & Housego, which provides optical systems and components to customers around the world, said it expects full year trading to be in line with management’s expectations and that it was delivering on the strategic plan announced last year.

Updating on trading for the six months to end-March this year, the Ilminster firm said revenue for the first half was expected to be around £67.5 million, down from £71.3 million in the first half of fiscal 2023 but that trading in the current financial year was expected to be more heavily weighted towards the second half than in its last financial year.

READ MORE: Bristol-based fibre optics specialist Pulse Networks celebrates a win at UK Fibre Awards

As at the end of March, the order book stood at £115.8 million (£124.4 million as at March 31, 2023), a decrease of 6.9%, but an increase of 3.6% on an organic constant currency basis, compared with the same time last year, it added.

“Despite the lower volumes in the first half of the financial year resulting from a prolonged period of inventory adjustment by some of our customers we have continued to focus on the delivery of our strategic objectives,” said CEO Charlie Peppiatt in a statement.

“In line with our commitment to become a more customer focused business, we have further improved our operational performance reducing our overdue backlog and lead times.”

New orders in the semiconductor, sub-sea data cable and aerospace navigation markets as well as for medical diagnostic products have been strong, the firm noted. And it has secured a new fibre optic customer.

“Our investment in new technologies and products is recognised by our customers and we have secured important new contract wins in the period,” said Peppiatt.

“Following the strategic addition of the GS Optics and Artemis Optical businesses in FY2023, we have already been rewarded with new customer orders as a result of the group’s enhanced portfolio.

“The divestment of our EM4 business in March this year represented an important milestone on our journey to focus our A&D business on those areas where we can secure acceptable returns, supporting the group’s path to mid-teens profitability,” he added.

Gooch & Housego told investors it remained in a “strong financial position”.

At the half year, net debt stood at around £32 million (March 2023: £19.2M and September 2023: £31.7M) and it had US$35.7 million available from existing committed and uncommitted debt facilities to fund its future growth activities, it said.

The company will announce its results for the six months to March 31 on June 4 this year.

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