HAYDOCK plastics firm Coral Products reported its first pre-tax profit for eight years today with its interim results for the six months to October 31.
The firm unveiled a 9% increase in group sales to £9.41m and a pre-tax profit of £480,000, compared with a previous loss of £356,000.
It is also considering paying a full year dividend to shareholders depending on continuing its good progress.
Chairman Joe Grimmond told The Post today: This is the first full year of a three year plan we have developed for Coral. Cash flow is tremendously strong and margins and efficiencies have increased.
Last week the firm announced the acquisition of its factory freehold which Mr Grimmond said will save it £250,000 net of interest on the bottom line in rental starting from the end of this month.
The firms fortunes have been turned around by the shift from media products, such as CD and DVD plastic cases, to its food caddy product for food storage.
Mr Grimmond said media products will decline, but Coral will not exit the market yet: Media products will gradually go the way of the VCR video recorder, but DVDs and CDs will still have a considerable demand for some time to come, but it is a degrading market and as it degrades we will transfer production capability in to other lines.
Media packaging is being affected by consumers now accessing films and music on the internet and Mr Grimmond said: I dont see media products ever going back to the levels of the past.
He added that the firm is also considering other injection moulded plastic products used in household goods or the medical and food industries: We are running at 75% capacity, so we can still take on a fair amount of new business without major cost increases.
And he said: Overall, the first half performance is much improved over the previous years and the board views the future for the group for the full year and beyond with confidence.