Supercar brake disc maker on course for profit

Merseyside supercar brake disc maker Surface Transforms on track to be profitable in the second half of 2023 as it gets set to invest a further £3.4m to deliver its £290m order book. Tony McDonough reports

Aston Martin Valkyrie
Surface Transforms is making brake discs for the £3m Aston Martin Valkyrie.


Carbon fibre brake disc maker Surface Transforms (ST) says it remains on course to become profitable in the second half of 2023 despite recent production problems.

In a trading update on Monday, stock market-listed ST said it was planning £3.4m of capital expenditure at its Knowsley factory in the next few months. It acknowledged that production problems in late 2022 and early 2023 had “cost and cash implications”.

ST produces carbon fibre brake discs for high performance cars. Customers have included Porsche, Ferrari and Nissan. It is currently supplying brake discs for the Aston Martin Valkyrie which retails at £3m apiece.

In April the business reported that it enjoyed “exceptional commercial success” in 2022. However, production issues in late 2002 and early 2023 contributed to a full-year £4.8m pre-tax loss. Its current order book is worth around £290m.

Sales for the six months to June 30, 2023 grew to £3.3m (H1 2022: £2.9m) representing an overall increase of 14%.

Within this total, the volume of manufactured discs during the period increased by more than 80%, reflecting the improvements made in production during 2023. The remainder of the sales in both periods is pre-production development income.

In its update on Monday, ST said: “Installation of extra capacity is still on track with a further £3.4m of capital expenditure expected in the second half of this year.

“This extra capacity will provide resilience during the continuing ramp up in the second half of 2023 and also underpins the projected further near doubling of sales in 2024.

“Revenue expectations for 2023 and 2024 are unchanged. The production problems of the last six months have inevitably had cost and cash implications.

However, cash has been managed by prudent cash management, the use of some contingencies in the original plan and the phasing of capital expenditure for the next phase of capacity expansion.

“Reflecting the board’s expectation of continuing operational performance, gross cash at December 31, 2023 is now expected to be no worse than £1m lower than previous estimates.”

Stating it expects to be profitable in the second half of 2023, ST added: “The company is continuing its work with customers on converting its prospective contact pipeline into firm orders with further announcements expected in the current financial year.

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