Hardide Plc (LON:HDD) Chief Executive Officer Philip Kirkham caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their very positive trading update
Q1: Now Phil, when we last spoke you’d just gained approved supplier status from Airbus and today you’ve issued what seems like a very positive trading update, can you tell us a little bit more about this?
A1: We’ve seen an increase in activity in the oil and gas market, certainly over the last 6 months, and if you look at the figures, the US rig count, is up 83% compared with the same time last year and the number of rigs operating in the US is now the greatest number since September 2015, all of our customers in the oil and gas sector report to be very busy and all indications are that demand is likely to continue. Significantly, our oil and gas sales in the first half of this year are double compared with the same period in 2016 and overall our sales in the first half were comfortably ahead of the previous 2 half years. So, all in all, we expect the full year to be in line with the market forecasts that are already out there.
Q2: You also mentioned that your new US facility in Virginia is performing well, what progress has been made there?
A2: Just to recap on that, the facility opened in January 2016 and an approval process had to be gone through with all of our customers so we started coating production parts there in the Summer of 2016 so the work’s been building steadily from that date. The operation is being run as a pure production facility, there’s no administration overheads there and the local team in Martinsville is being managed remotely by our operations team here in Bicester.
So, we’re now fully approved by our key North American customers and coating regular volumes of product with, I must say, excellent quality customer service levels coming out of the plant. As the customer base develops, we expect activity levels in the second half of this year to be higher than the first and we’ve got some really exciting opportunities opening up in North America as we are now a local US operator.