THE DIRECTORS' STATEMENTS
Key statements on policy, investment, business growth, etc, have been extracted from the Annual Reports. Although some relevant profit and turnover figures are quoted, no attempt has been made to carry out a detailed financial analysis.
1903 – The main extensions to the (Willesden) works were practically completed by the end of the year. The existing shops were replaced by substantial brick buildings containing two additional erecting bays, each 200 feet long. Net Profit = £17,604 3s 7d
1904 – Conditions in the engineering trades were difficult and the Directors considered the year's trading had been satisfactory. A big increase in the duty on sugar caused a marked depression in the confectionery and allied trades, yet orders were fairly well maintained. The Company received the highest award – the Grand Prize - at the St. Louis Exhibition, (See also Trade Exhibitions). Net Profit = £17,038 19s.
1905 – The year's profit was down on the previous year, partly because of the rise in the cost of raw materials. There was some fluctuation in export business but Home trade continued steadily. Net Profit = £11,913 9s 0d.
1906 – Orders reached record levels, profit on the year's trading showing improvement. The cost of raw materials increased throughout the year and, as it was considered undesirable to increase selling prices, profits were temporarily affected. Net Profit = £14,196 2s. 6d.
1907 – The level of business was up on the previous year but the high prices of raw materials and unusually heavy expenses connected with some contracts impacted on profits. Net Profit = £12,594 5s. 4d.
1908 – The general depression reduced turnover but a fall in raw material prices kept profits at a similar level to the previous year. Considerable new business was obtained from the Franco-British Exhibition (See also Trade Exhibitions) and it was decided that the extensive working exhibits would continue for a further year. Net Profit = £13,650 14s. 10d.
1909 – Many new developments were introduced resulting in an increase in business. The development of Automatic Bread Making Plant was a pronounced success with many orders from home and abroad. Net Profit = £14,950 2s. 11d.
1910 – Some upward movement in trade generally was reflected in a larger volume of orders than in any corresponding period in earlier years. Net Profit = £16,982 18s. 10d.
1911 – The steady increase in business continued and additional investment in buildings and machinery and tools was necessary. Net Profit = £22,474 4s. 9d.
1912 – Continued progress was seen in the development and sales of new machinery. Net Profit = £24,729 9s. 2d.
1913 – Orders reached record levels but manufacturing capacity did not keep pace. Increased cost of materials and wages hit profits. Extra Works accommodation was leased close to the present works. Net Profit = £8,213 15s 4d.Westwood Works in World War 1)
1914 – Despite the dislocation of business owing to the war and the decrease of output caused by 100 employees joining the forces, the year's trading was satisfactory. A lease and right of purchase was obtained for five acres of land belonging to the London and North Western Railway adjoining the Willesden Works. Net Profit = £8,836 18s. 11d.
1915 – Report not available
1916 - The death of Philip B. Baker was reported. Work continued day and night under the continued control of the Government. This involved many alterations and adaptations of plant and buildings. Net Profit = £12,313 9s. 3d.
1917 – The Company continued to work day and night under Government control, on Government contracts. Net Profit = £10,504 1s. 6d.
1918 – The death of the Chairman, J. Allen Baker was reported. He was succeeded by Allan R. Baker. The signing of the Armistice in November foreshadowed the completion of the Company's Government work. Following the Armistice, the work of renovating and remodelling of plant was carried out as rapidly as possible and the Works was expected soon to be in full production of the Company's specialities. Net Profit = £14,200 17s. 9d.
1919 – This was a period of joint working with Perkins, Engineers, Ltd, prior to amalgamation. Many difficulties had to be overcome – restitution of plant for peacetime activities at Willesden, liquidation of war contracts, difficulty in obtaining materials and thirteen weeks of moulders' strike (at Willesden). The relatively favourable result was attributed to the availability of good foundry facilities at Westwood Works and the absence of any need for serious re-conditioning at Peterborough. The Werner & Pfleiderer business in Saginaw, Michigan was acquired. Net Profit = £40,474 12s. 0d..
1920 – The formal Amalgamation contract was completed in August but the two businesses had been united effectively since January 1st 1919. The Foundry at Peterborough was extended. The newly acquired Saginaw Works was fully occupied. Net Profit = £48,311 3s. 4d.
1921 – David Thomson Ltd. was acquired. A large volume of sales was achieved but, owing to the general trade depression, orders fell off dramatically. Investment in new buildings was made in Saginaw and the Canadian and Australian businesses were profitable. Net Profit = £35,071 19s.10d.
1922 – The major fire at Westwood Works coincided with the lowest point in the general trade depression. Reductions were made in numbers of both staff and workmen. Following the Great Fire, a new warehouse, paint shop, carpenters' shop and two new pattern stores were built at Westwood, together with railway sidings to serve them. A dispute between the Engineering Federation and the Trade Unions led to a fourteen-week lockout at Willesden. However, profits were up compared with the previous year and good progress was made in the USA, Canada and Australian companies. Net Profit = £47,582 13s. 3d.
1923 – Invoicing was at a lower level than in any of the preceding years but orders were substantially up on 1922. An investment was made in The British Arkady Co. Ltd. The setting up of a Company Pension Scheme was discussed (See The Westwood Works Culture). Extensive exhibits were shown at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley (See also Trade Exhibitions and Outings). Good years were had by the USA, Australian and Canadian businesses. Net Profit = £46,975 5s. 5d.
1924 – Both the volume of business and orders booked were higher than in 1923. A new office block, including a new Drawing Office, (See also Before Westwood), was built at Willesden. Some difficulty was expressed in initiating the Pension Scheme. Aublet Harry & Co Ltd, Peterborough – laundry machinery manufacturers – was acquired. Canada and Australia continued to prosper but Saginaw experienced some difficulties. Net Profit = £56,636 8s. 11d.
1925 – The volume of business increased compared with the previous year. The Australian Branch was established as a Limited Liability Company with reciprocal holdings in Gordon Brothers. Trading was lower in the Canadian business. The UK's continuing industrial difficulties were seen as having a negative effect on business confidence. Net profit = £61,964 17s. 11d.
1926 – The year of the General Strike and the dispute in the Coal Trade. Both orders and invoicing dropped by about 10%. The new Erecting Shop at Willesden was completed and further additions to manufacturing facilities made at Peterborough. Good progress was made in all of the overseas companies. The men in the Works joined the General Strike but " the relations of mutual confidence and trust which prevailed before this disaster have been resumed." Net Profit = £63,722 7s. 11d.
1927 – Mr. William King Baker, original partner of Joseph Baker & Sons, died. Invoiced sales and orders were over 10% higher than in 1928 and slightly above 1925 figures. Profits reached record levels. More investment was made in Werner & Pfleiderer of Stuttgart. All overseas investments performed satisfactorily. Net Profit = £91,759 13s. 4d.
1928 – Orders increased by about 10% and profits remained practically unchanged from the previous year. More buildings were added at Willesden and 6,600 square feet to the Erecting Shops at Westwood Works. With more investment in machine tools "At no time has the productive capacity of the Company attained so high a level". A minority holding was taken in Forgrove Machinery Co., Leeds, (Packaging and Wrapping Mc.). The Works and Foundry were extended at Saginaw against the background of an excellent year, the rest of the overseas companies performing satisfactorily, except for Canadian Baker Perkins, whose results were less good than in 1827. Net Profit = £91,732 4s. 9d.
1929 – Report not available. "Output reached a record level."
1930 – A severe world depression affected business generally and the overseas businesses in particular. Further investment was made in Werner & Pfleiderer. A holding was also purchased in the Peerless Electrical Manufacturing Co., makers of small bakery machinery. Net Profit = £95,425 1s. 8d.
1931 – The continuing depression in the USA adversely affected Baker Perkins Inc's results with turnover falling below the 1930 level. An investment was made in A. Savy Jeanjean et Cie with whom the company had had reciprocal manufacturing and trading arrangements for 12 years. The operations of David Thomson Ltd. were moved from Edinburgh to Westwood Works, Net Profit = £68,913 14s. 7d.
1932 – Still feeling the effect of the general depression. Analysis showed that, by working two shifts in the machine shop and one shift in assembly and other departments, the whole of the Company's business could be met by Westwood Works. The Willesden Works was closed and a new office block built at Peterborough into which the Willesden staff moved in April 1933 (See also Outside Views). Satisfactory arrangements were made for the necessary housing at no cost to the Company (See also Housing). Because of the depressed business situation, a graded reduction of salaries (including Directors' fees) was made at the end of June 1932 but the final results for 1932 enabled the reductions for the period July to December 1932 to be made up. Net Profit = £68,376 15s. 5d.
1933 - Report not available. Net Profit = £67,159 1s. 9d.
1934 – The deaths were announced of R.A. Pelmore (Note: The 'English' branch of the Pfleiderer family changed their name to Pelmore at the beginning of WW1) and G.S. Baker. The rapid increase in orders, maintained through 1934, required a full night shift in the machine shop and large numbers of new men and staff to cope. Turnover was higher than for years but the unfamiliarity of the new men with the work meant that profits did not rise commensurate with the increase in activity. The Willesden factory was not yet sold. Most overseas companies showed some improvement. Major efforts were made to improve collaboration between technical, production and commercial staffs in all Group companies. Net Profit = £70,682 17s. 5d.
1935 – The works was fully occupied throughout the year and a night shift employed in the machine shop. Output increased to a record level (excluding the single exception of 1929). Home orders were up and some improvement was seen in export markets. Competition was intense. Net profit = £88,644 0s. 4d.
1936 – Orders were slightly higher than in 1935, with turnover at a similar level. Sales at Saginaw were almost back to pre-Depression levels. Improvements were seen in all overseas companies. The working week was shortened form 47 to 45 hours and the 5-day week also adopted in the offices. Holiday pay was also introduced (See also The Westwood Works Culture). A.I. Baker joined the Board. Net Profit = £104,395 18s. 5d.
1937 – Orders were up but turnover rather lower. Profits were affected by a rise in raw material costs and the introduction of Holiday Pay. Sales and profits increased in all overseas companies. Net Profit = £86,104 16s. 0d.
1938 – The death of Mr F.C. Ihlee was reported. Invoiced turnover was the largest in the Company's history. A new Clubhouse was built in Alma Road. The depression in the USA affected Saginaw's results adversely. Prospects for civilian orders were satisfactory but defence orders likely to interfere increasingly with regular production and diminish earnings. Net Profit = £110,560 2s 0d.Westwood Works in World War 2)
1939 – Death of Mr Walter Pelmore recorded. Caretaker's flat added to Alma Road Clubhouse. "Orders on the books were very satisfactory but the character of the work with which we have been entrusted and increased taxation may be expected further to diminish net earnings in the current year". First employees left to serve in HM Forces. These men received a gratuity and allowances for the duration. Nearly 450 volunteers enrolled for ARP work. (See also Westwood Works in World War 2). Net Profit = £97,490 8s 3d.
1940 – The Works were fully occupied throughout the period and this was assured for the foreseeable future. Numerous orders had been booked for fulfilment after the war. 193 men were the in the armed forces with a considerable number of technical staff on loan to government departments. The allowances to ex-employees on active service continued. Net Profit = £96,968 16s. 0d.
1941 – Josh Booth, Manufacturing Director, died. The fear that the USA company might be sequestered to help HM Government pay for munitions was not realised. Orders were still being received from customers for execution when hostilities ceased. The number of employees in the Armed Services rose to 231 and more staff were loaned to Government Departments. Net Profit = £104,719 6s. 4d.
1942 – The death of Mr Allan R. Baker was announced. The volume of orders placed for execution when hostilities had ceased continued to increase. Nearly 250 Westwood men were on Active Service. Net Profit = £115,778.
1943 – A.I. Baker became Chairman. The death of Mr. D.Y.B. Tanqueray was announced. The remainder of the outstanding shares in Forgrove Machinery Company were purchased. Over 300 Westwood men and woman were in the services. Quarterly "News letter " sent to all of them since the start of the war. Net Profit = £116,125.
1944 – "The great success of our own forces and those of our allies during 1944 have made it possible for us to start preparations for the important task that lies before us of re-equipping the industries which we serve". The proportion of civil production was beginning to increase. Over 400 men and women had left to serve in HM forces. Net Profit = £119,109.
1945 – At the end of 1945 the return to production of machines and ovens was almost complete. Labour shortages – aggravated by the "call-up" of younger men – uncertainty on costs and shortages of materials continued to cause problems. A lease was taken on a modern factory at Bedewell, Hebburn-on-Tyne. Westwood Works welcomed back 100 men from active service but cancellation of the deferment of younger men and youths led to losing 60 skilled workers. Death roll rose to seventeen and three more were feared lost. Net Profit = £146,687.
1946 – During the early part of the year war work was finally disposed of. Bedewell Works began production. Because of shortage of castings the Alliance Foundry, Luton and St. Peter's Foundry, Newcastle were purchased. Forgrove acquired an adjoining property to effectively double the available production space. 130 men welcomed back but 95 more young operatives called to the colours. Net Profit = £141,549.
1947 – The death of Mr J.S. Baker was announced. Record profits returned by BP Inc. The Employees Profit Sharing Scheme was introduced. 56 men and six women returned from active service and 14, mainly apprentices were called up. Net Profit = £101,752.
1948 – "The period of post-war difficulty has proved longer and more serious than all had hoped". Considerable effort was expended in organising sub-contracting capacity in various parts of the country. Final toll – "384 employees joined HM Forces before VJ Day, of these 277 returned to the company, 91 did not do so and 16 must be recorded as killed or missing". Net Profit = £136,149.
1949 – Annual Report not available. Net Profit = £250,732.
1950 – Turnover was higher both in money value and in volume than in 1949. Exports were the highest ever achieved and represented about one third of Turnover. "The arrangements for apprenticeship and training built upon a foundation laid in 1944 will bear comparison with those in any other manufacturing enterprise in the country". Baker Perkins (Exports) Ltd. started operations on 1st September. Net Profit = £316,666.
1951 – Turnover again increased in volume and money values over the previous year. Difficulties were experienced with supplies of raw materials, particularly steel. Net Profit = £323,618.
1952 – Export sales were again a record but currency difficulties and import restrictions meant that certain orders had to be deferred. BP Australia achieved record trading figures. Costs rose because of wage increases in 1951 and 1952. and competition increased. Foundations for a 'Trades School' were laid at Peterborough. Net Profit = £318,334.
1953 – Currency difficulties and import restrictions continued to affect export business levels. The shareholding in British Arkady was disposed of. Net Profit = £389,977.
1954 – Selling prices were not increased to absorb the increase in wages awarded in March 1954, the rise being met largely by an increase in efficiency. The new Apprentice School at Westwood Works was opened in January 1954. A small extension made to Alliance Foundry Co. Net Profit = £406,906.
1955 –Export turnover and order taking improved. Profits were affected by a policy of delaying selling price increases for as long as possible in a period when costs of all kinds continued to rise. Philip Baker Harley succeeded Mr J.A. Baker as president of BP Inc. Net Profit = £236,001.
1956 – Profits were up substantially over the previous year despite continuing uncertainty about the world economy and the effects of credit restrictions. Forgrove GmbH was set up in Cologne. The Export Company moved into new premises in Swallow St., London. Group Turnover = £14.3m. Net Profit = £415,305.
1957 – Profit slightly higher than in 1956. Good results throughout the group with the exception of the Brazilian company. Century Machinery Company, Cincinnati (equipment for the small baker) sold. Group Turnover = £13.78m. Net Profit = £399,931
1958 – Recession in many parts of the world slowed the demand for capital equipment. New Apprentice Schools built at Bedewell and at Forgrove, Leeds. BP Canada's manufacturing facilities were enlarged. Steele & Cowlishaw, Stoke on Trent, (chemical machinery), Packman Machinery Ltd, Twyford (engineering design projects) and Yates Plant Ltd, (Welding equipment) all joined the Group during the year. The Petersen Oven Co., Chicago (baking ovens) merged with BP Inc. Group Turnover = £14.3m. Net Profit = £415,722.
1959 – Some recovery in the national economy but export volume was down. Problems remain in Brazil. William Douglas & Son, Putney (fats/liquid handling plant) acquired. Tetrobromoethane mineral ore dressing venture began at Letchworth. Group Turnover = £15.45m. Net Profit = £417,924.
1960 – Rownson Conveyors Ltd, London also joined the Group in June 1960. Other acquisitions included The Granbull Tool Co. Ltd, Kingston-on-Thames, Alfred Porter & Co. Ltd., Teddington, Considerable expenditure was being incurred in developing rubber processing machinery, mineral dressing equipment and foundry machinery. Group Turnover = £18.00m. Profit after Tax = £629,813.
1961 – Rights Issue made in February 1961 and fully subscribed. This financed further expansion – Rose Brothers (Gainsborough) Ltd and its subsidiaries Job Day & Sons Ltd (packaging and wrapping m/cs), The Northern Manufacturing Co. Ltd (gears and gearboxes), James Halley & Sons Ltd, West Bromwich (printing machinery) and William Jack & Sons Ltd, Glasgow (laundry equipment) were acquired. Group Turnover = £23.7m. Profit after Tax = £696,594.
1962 – Diamond Jubilee year of the Baker company. A generally depressed capital goods market existed in the UK and some other countries and the level of profits reflected this. Baker Perkins Chemical Machinery Limited formed to include Granbull, Steele & Cowlishaw and the existing chemical and rubber m/c departments at Peterborough. The tetrabromoethane for mineral dressing venture was terminated on 28 th April. Packman M/c Ltd was renamed Baker Perkins Developments Ltd. Group Turnover = £22.75m. Profit after Tax = £496,901.
1963 – Baker Perkins Holdings Ltd. adopted as the name for the parent company with Baker Perkins Limited reserved for its main operating subsidiary. BP Ltd. experienced its most difficult and disappointing year since the War. The Group's investment in Savy Jeanjean et Cie, France was sold. Group Turnover = £22.94m. Profit after Tax = £315,582.
1964 – Pre –Tax Profit was the highest in the company's history. Group Sales were up at £25.2m. New HQ Building for Baker Perkins Holdings announced. A new factory for Douglas Rownson was to be built at Basingstoke. Design and production of Offset Litho printing presses moved from Halley, West Bromwich to Westwood Works. J.S. Carolin retired because of ill health. Group Turnover = £25.18m. Profit after Tax = £811,932.
1965 – Sales and profits at another record level. BP (Exports) achieved record turnover of £4m. Agreement reached with the AEU for a four-year Apprenticeship for certain categories of Craft Apprentice. The UK Government's Prices and Incomes Policy was impacting on customers' investment plans. Half -yearly results were published for the first time in September 1965. Group Turnover = £28.17m. Profit after Tax = £1.225m.
1966 – For the first time, capital employed overseas exceeded that employed in the UK companies. The UK credit squeeze continued to have a negative effect on business. Rose Forgrove Ltd was formed from Rose Brothers (Gainsborough) Ltd, The Forgrove Machinery Co. Ltd., The Northern Manufacturing Co Ltd and Job Day & Sons Ltd. A new £1m factory was to be built at Leeds as the new company's HQ. The death of C.N. Brown was reported. Group Turnover = £28.68m. Profit after Tax = £950,958.
1967 – Results were affected by a slow-down in Germany, the effect of which spread to the rest of Europe, and the UK monetary crisis that culminated in the devaluation of sterling. In the parent company the Board of Management type of organisation was changed to a system of straight-line authority and responsibility. The Granbull division of Steele & Cowlishaw was disposed of. In North America, the Podbielniak centrifugal contactor business was acquired from Dresser Industries. Group Turnover = £30.4m. Profit after Tax = £1.019m.
1968 – Profits were the highest achieved so far. Scrip Issue made - £1 units of stock split into two shares of 10s. each. Exports increased, helped to some extent by the effects of devaluation in November 1967. Agreement signed with Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Japan for manufacture and sale in Japan of printing presses. Group Turnover = £32.97m. Profit after Tax = £1.290m.
1969 – The 100th Anniversary of the patenting of the Baker flour sifter. Pre-tax Profit was at a record level – 28% up on previous year. Baker Perkins International Ltd formed on January 1961.New HQ building for Rose Forgrove at Seacroft, Leeds opened. BP Australia bought Thermo Radiant Ovens Pty Ltd. and the rest of the share capital of Gordon Brothers in which a minority interest had first been bought in 1925. Group Turnover = £38.728m. Profit after Tax = £1.532m.
1970 – Profits were just above those of previous record. Over the four years 1967 – 1970 exports for the UK increased form £6.2m to £11.0m. "We finished 1970 with 390 fewer employees than at the beginning and since the end of the year a further 600 have been given notice or have retired unreplaced, a total reduction of over 10%". The HQ of Baker Perkins International was moved from London to Peterborough. Extension to Baker Perkins Holdings HQ building completed in March 1971. BPPMC Inc. (Printing M/c) was formed in Chicago. Group Turnover = £42.3m. Profit after Tax = £1.485m.
1971 –"Conditions in 1971 turned out to be the most difficult with which we have had to cope since the depression years of the 1930s. The number of employees was reduced through redundancy by a further 1,050 or 12%". Group Turnover = £38.96m. Profit after Tax = £926,615.
1972 – Pre-tax profit was up 38% on 1971. Baker Perkins Ltd planned £2.5m factory/office re-organisation at Westwood Works, including a new multi-storey office block. The printing machinery division achieved increased sales and profit in the North American market. Group Turnover = £42.6m. Profit after Tax = £1.591m.
1973 – Pre-tax Profit was up 14% on the previous year but fell short of the record level achieved earlier. High levels of inflation were making the Accounting task difficult and guidance was awaited from the professional bodies concerned and the Government committee charged with looking at this problem. Orders were at an all time high and 68% of total sales were outside the UK and several substantial acquisition opportunities, mainly overseas, were under investigation. Group Turnover = £51.34m. Profit after Tax = £1.707m.
1974 – No Annual Report Issued.
1975 – (15 months) Greater then expected loss in North America. A.I. Baker retired and was succeeded as Chairman by I.H.G. Gilbert. "Most of the countries which comprise the group's traditional markets are in a state of recession". The Basingstoke factory of Douglas Rownson was closed in February 1975. Foundry Division awarded Queen's Award for Industry. Group Turnover = £77.55m. Profit after Tax = £245,000.
1976 – Profits up significantly and North America turned from loss to profit. Rights Issue made in early 1976. £2.6m of capital expenditure authorised. Concern expressed about the effect on employee morale of the voluntary incomes policy, high inflation, high taxation and pay restraint. Sales increased by 11% over 1974/75. James Halley, West Bromwich factory to be closed and production transferred to Westwood Works. Group Turnover = £69.15m. Profit after Tax = £1.994m.
1977 – Pre-tax profit up from £4.4m to £7.9m despite continued depression in world business. Special payment of £400,000 made to the pension scheme to offset the effect of the 'pay restraint' policy. Group sales were up by 18% with sales outside the UK representing 72% of the whole. Industrial buildings acquired to extend Bedewell factory. A new factory is to be built at Skegness for Rose Bearings. Computer Aided Design equipment installed at Peterborough. Group Turnover = £81.42m. Profit after Tax = £4.685m.
1978 – Sales (+6%) and Pre-tax profit (+13%) were up on 1977. There were fears of higher inflation in both the UK and USA. The UK bakery market remained depressed and the Spillers Group pulled out of bread production in the UK. Malaxeurs Guittard, Paris, France (chemical mixing equipment) acquired at the end of 1977. Baker Perkins Jaxons Ltd. (laundry equipment) was sold. Computer Aided Design equipment began operating in Saginaw as well as at Peterborough. Group Turnover = £86.5m. Profit after Tax = £6.994m.
1979 – "Despite generally depressed business conditions the group put up an excellent performance with a return of over 20% on capital employed for the third consecutive year". Over 2/3rds of the goods sold by the group were produced in the UK but 71% of all group sales occurred outside the UK. A Rights Issue in February 1979 raised £3.5m. Werner Lehara, Grand Rapids, USA (biscuit m/c) and Industrial Heating, Auckland, New Zealand (Baking ovens) were acquired. Rose Forgrove received Queen's Award for Exports. Group Turnover = £97.45m. Profit after Tax = £7.488m.
1980 – Sir Franklin Braithwaite succeeded Ian Gilbert as Chairman and John Peake became Managing Director. All of the major group companies except one (Rose Forgrove Ltd.) earned a profit similar to or greater than the previous year. Difficult trading conditions existed in the UK with a strong sterling exchange rate and very high domestic inflation. The UK national engineering strike cost the group about £1m in lost profit. Packaging m/c orders at a low level. Pavailler. France acquired. A new factory was being built at Gateshead for Rose Forgrove. Group Turnover = £106.53m. Profit after Tax = £4.863m.
1981 – Difficult UK trading conditions continued. Orders in hand up from £50m to £57m. A new $8m bakery m/c factory in Goldsboro NC was authorised - Saginaw to be used primarily for chemical m/c. Total Group employees = 6,760, down from 7,372 in 1980 (UK = 4,767 (5,247)). Group Turnover = £116.48m. Profit after Tax = £0.979m.
1982 – Profits improved but overseas prospects looked less bright than previous year. A strengthening pound and high inflation continued to make exporting from the UK difficult. Profits were also affected by the cost of moving the bakery business from Saginaw to Goldsboro and the completion of the Gateshead factory. The retail/in-store bakery business was strengthened by acquisition of Willett Industries, Australia. Gordon Brothers, Australia, refrigeration business sold. Group Turnover = £137.80m. Profit after Tax = £3.442m.
1983 – "The developed world appears to be moving slowly out of recession". Orders were at a high level – up 18% in value and 5% in volume - but the cost of relocating the bakery machinery business in the USA from Saginaw to Goldsboro ($7m) and a low level of demand for chemical machinery severely impacted profits. The Group benefited from the steady flow of deliveries of tea packaging m/cs to Russia but packaging orders generally continued at a low level. No of people employed in the Group = 6083. Group Turnover = £164.96m. Profit after Tax = £1.054m.
1984 – John Peake appointed Chairman. Baker Perkins Holdings re-named Baker Perkins PLC. Pre-tax profit nearly doubled and Sales up 27%. Packaging m/c orders still at a low level. Proved more difficult than expected to build up satisfactory output rates at Goldsboro and Saginaw suffered from lack of demand for chemical equipment. Central technology group formed. Stickleber & Sons, Kansas City (Bakery M/c) were acquired. Group Turnover = £194.24m. Profit after Tax = £3.624m.
1985 – Sales were up 27% over the previous year with pre-tax profit nearly doubled. Mike Smith appointed Group Managing Director. Westal Ltd, Redditch (Chocolate moulding equipment) was acquired. On 1st October 1984 the foundry machinery business was sold to A.W.D. Ferns (the division's previous manager). Baker Berkins Ltd re-organised into three separate companies and Baker Perkins Holdings Ltd became Baker Perkins plc. Group Turnover = £247.26m. Profit after Tax = £9.033m.
1986 – Earnings per share up 21%. Good response to Rights Issue – authorised share capital increased from £20.42m to £27.42m.. Most of trade investments sold off, including that in Werner & Pfleiderer of Stuttgart – held since 1927. Stake in plastics machinery market strengthened by acquisition of Sterling Extruder Corp. BPBCS and BPPMC given Queen's Award for Export Achievement. The Rose Forgrove factory at Gateshead was closed. Group Turnover = £261.85m. Profit after Tax = £12.265m.The Merger with APV)
(Please note: In this section emphasis is placed on the performance and development of the ex-Baker Perkins businesses. It is possible that the development of the ex-APV operations, together with that of companies acquired after the merger in 1987, will be covered in a separate exercise later).
1987 – The year of assimilation and rationalisation as APV, Baker Perkins and Pasilac were formed into a single entity. "APV is now the undisputed world leader in the supply of process plant to the food and beverage industries". "In mid-1987 the group had 57 factory sites occupying 5 million sq. ft.. By January 1988 this had been reduced to 39 factories occupying 3.4 million sq. ft". Of the previous Baker Perkins facilities, Saginaw was closed and Rose Bearings and Sterling Davis sold. Group Turnover = £703.6m. Profit after Tax = £26.1m.
1988 – Plate Heat exchangers production was moved into the ex-Baker Perkins factory in Goldsboro, NC. The printing machinery business was sold to Rockwell International for £85.3m.in March 1989. Westwood Works was part of the sale and a new £30m factory to house the ex-Baker Perkins food machinery businesses was to be built at Paston, Peterborough. Pre-acquisition problems came to light at ex-Baker Perkins companies Rose Forgrove and Pavailler. Group Turnover = £806.2m. Profit after Tax = £35.1m.
1989 – APV Baker now comprised the ex-Baker Perkins businesses plus some packaging and refrigeration operations from the previous APV organisation. Tweedy, Burnley (Bread mixing equipment) and Lanham, USA (baking plant) were acquired. Group Turnover = £844.4m. Profit after Tax = £41.3m.
1990 – "During 1990 worsening economic conditions were experienced in the UK". The first of 10 breakfast cereal plants for Russia was shipped. Moffat Appliances Ltd., New Zealand (In-store bakery equipment) was acquired. Group Turnover = £928.1m. Profit after Tax = £27.4m.
1991 – "With continuing recession in the UK, the USA and Australia and signs of slowdown in the German economy, economic conditions in 1991 were generally not such as to encourage investment". Turnover was 18% lower and pre-tax profit 23.4% lower than in 1990. Fred Smith retired as CEO. The new factory for APV Baker at Paston, Peterborough was completed. Group Turnover = £874.4m. Profit after Tax = £21.3m.
1992 – Clive Strowger appointed Group Chief Executive. Turnover rose by 8.4% but Profit after Tax was halved. The rationalisation and disposal programme continued. A new "more meaningful " segmental analysis was used to describe the Group's development. Group Turnover = £947.5m. Profit after Tax = £10.9m.
1993 – Some sign of economic improvement in the USA and UK but, outside Asia, demand for capital equipment was weak. Emphasis was on strengthening the core business and completing the divestment programme. During 1993 10 plants were closed and further closures/divestments were expected. Rose Forgrove, the ex-Baker Perkins packaging m/c business, was sold to the Howden Group in January 1993 for a "nominal consideration". Group Turnover = £906.0m. Profit after Tax = £3.4m.
1994 – Economic conditions in most of the major countries served by APV were considered to be favourable but competition remained intense. Pavailler, France was sold in July 1994 after continuing losses. More ex-APV businesses were disposed of during the year. Group Turnover = £874.6m. Profit(Loss) after Tax = (£24.4m).
1995 – The implementation of the restructuring programme and subsequent improvement in operating effectiveness brought a significant improvement in the group's results. APV Chemical Inc, the ex-Baker Perkins business based in Saginaw, Michigan, was sold in April 1995. Group Turnover = £881.9m. Profit after Tax = £21.6m.
1996 – "Market conditions were generally unhelpful and we competed vigorously to win a share of the business". Major cost reduction exercises were undertaken throughout the business. The Australian catering equipment and retail bakery businesses were sold in March 1996 completing the planned divestment programme. Group Turnover = £772.0m. Profit after Tax = £11.2m.
1997 – APV was acquired by Siebe.
At the end of 1992 Westwood Works produced its last printing machine and the factory closed. Production of 'Dry Food' equipment continued at the new APV Baker factory at Paston, Peterborough.
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