Transport seating firm on track to double sales

Transcal has made interiors for firms including First Great Western.
Transcal has made interiors for firms including First Great Western.
Share this article
Have your say

A WEST Lothian firm that specialises in transport seating has predicted a near-doubling in revenues after sealing a deal to buy a rail engineering specialist.

Transcal, which has carried out interiors work for train operators including East Midlands Trains and First Great Western, said the acquisition of Worcester-based Winstanley Holdings would cement its position as a leading player in the rail refurbishment market.

Founded in 1980 as a maker of leather seats for cars, the Livingston-headquartered firm diversified into rail interiors in 2008 and set up its Transcal Rail division two years ago through the acquisition of train seating specialist Primarius.

Robert Aitken, founder and managing director of the ­privately-owned company, said: “In the past year we have worked closely with Winstanley on a number of projects … both companies share a similar ethos on quality, design innovation and attention to detail. This gives us a sound basis for the business combination.”

Aitken said the takeover of Winstanley, which employs 84 people, would see the firm’s rail revenues soar from a projected £5.5 million to £11.5m and expand its design engineering capabilities within the rail and defence industry sectors.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is also expected to see Transcal’s overall sales almost double from £14.5m this year to an estimated £27.5m in 2016.

All staff at Winstanley’s fabrication works in the Worcestershire market town of Pershore will be retained. Its range of fabrication services include interior and exterior doors as well as the refurbishment of existing rolling stock components.

Majority shareholder Rod Smith, who is retiring as Winstanley managing director after the takeover, said: “The Transcal acquisition makes great strategic sense for the two businesses. Our joint strengths make a most compelling offer to rail and defence sector customers. This investment is good news for the future of Winstanley and its skilled workforce.”

Transcal employs 97 people in the UK across divisions focusing on automotive seats, rail interiors, aviation and furniture.

Last year the firm was given the task of upholstering a replica of Robert the Bruce’s throne to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. It previously worked on the refurbishment of the officers’ wardroom on the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is now docked at Ocean Terminal in Leith.

Aitken said yesterday that the Winstanley acquisition “is an important deal both for Transcal Rail and for our new colleagues”.

He added: “It puts us in a leading position to grow the enlarged group through a pipeline of rail franchise refurbishment.”