Glasgow welding supplies firm looks to double up on sales

The UK's last remaining supplier of welding consumables has set its sights on doubling its turnover, despite facing tough market conditions.

WB Alloys is also seeking to acquire businesses that can support its growth ambitions. Picture: Contributed

Glasgow-based WB Alloys, acquired by managing director Paul Houston in a management buyout funded by Allied Irish Bank (GB) in 2015, has enjoyed an annual growth rate of between 10 and 12 per cent over the past five years and is targeting turnover of £20 million by 2021.

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Although some of the firm’s traditional markets, such as oil and gas and renewable energy, have declined, Houston said the company has maintained its trajectory by growing its customer base across the construction, defence, nuclear decommissioning and aerospace sectors.

He added: “Long-term nuclear energy contracts are now beginning to bear fruit, with Hinkley Point C now under construction and nuclear decommissioning projects taking off.

“We have two manufacturing centres, in Renfrew and in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, and a global network through our partners. The next step is to ramp up our organic growth and acquire businesses that can support our operations and enhance our offer to customers.”

Houston said that WB Alloys, which employs 28 people in the UK, was also benefiting from an appetite among customers to “buy British”.

Sharan Sloan, relationship manager at Allied Irish Bank (GB) said: “Paul has invested in WB Alloys’ growth and reinvigorated its business practices so that it can stand up to the challenges of the marketplace and the wider economy.

“WB Alloys is a fantastic success story for Scottish manufacturing, and as a bank we are proud to have played a part in its development.”