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Company Snapshot: Howden Uk Ltd

By John Simpson

Belfast-based Howden UK, formerly Sirocco Engineering, is a major engineering firm specialising in the manufacture and supply of custom engineered fans and associated equipment.

Last year’s turnover of £74m was lower than the record high of £110m in 2008 and it looks unlikely this year will be better due to a reduced order book. There was a fall in both pre-tax and operating profits, partly due to the cost of redundancies. Employee numbers also fell to 336.

Because the company has a pattern of retaining post-tax profits within the firm, there have been annual increases in the balance sheet value of shareholders funds, from £33m in 2005 to nearly £69m at the end of 2009. Linked to the increased value of shareholders funds has been a parallel increase in the level of inter-group indebtedness reflected as owing from the rest of the group to Howden. This rose to over £70m in 2008 and was maintained in 2009.

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