South Wales engineers aim to double turnover after £350k investment

Going for growth: from left Gary Henley Traker Engineering with Howard Thompson and Martin Palmer of Tata Steel subsidiary UKSE. Picture by Nick Treharne.

A South Wales engineering firm is aiming to double turnover in three years following a £350,000 investment in new equipment and premises.

Traker Engineering of Taffs Well has received second-round funding of £230,000 from Tata Steel subsidiary UKSE to underpin a bold growth plan which foresees turnover rising to £2 million. The firm has bought state-of-the-art laser cutting and metal folding machinery and expanded into an adjacent factory unit to increase storage and improve efficiency.

In 2015 UKSE backed a Management Buy-In which led to the move to the present site, and since then the firm has exceeded expectations. Now, again supported by UKSE, the aim is to expand the client base and target new markets.

“The new equipment allows us to widen the range of services we offer. It also means we can keep all work in-house rather than relying on sub-contractors, and this will make us much more efficient and improve competitiveness,” said owner and Managing Director Gary Henley.

The plan is to increase the workforce from the present 10 to 13 to cope with the expansion and increase in output. “At present turnover stands at around £1 million and we are aiming to break the £2 million barrier in three years,” he said.

Traker Engineering was set up in 1979 and enjoys an excellent reputation for CNC-produced precision metal work across different sectors including gaming machines and medical and aerospace equipment. The new facilities mean the firm can extend its range of products, and will be targeting new work in renewables producing frames for solar panels and also looking for markets in white goods, garden furniture and the construction industry.

The gaming industry, an important area of work for Traker, now offers fresh opportunities due to the move towards a cashless society. “A new generation of gaming machines are now being redesigned to be digital and with our new equipment we are well positioned for this developing market,” said Mr Henley.

UKSE has provided a loan of £230,000 and the remainder of the investment package has come from the company. “We are pleased to be re-investing in Traker helping them to fulfil their business plan”, said UKSE Investment Executive Martin Palmer.

“There is an experienced management team in place and the company has always outperformed forecasts. We are confident that this expansion package will enable them to move confidently forward.”

“We like to work closely with our clients and be on hand to help them move swiftly to grasp opportunities, as is the case with Traker,” added Mr Palmer.

Mr Henley praised the ongoing relationship with UKSE who have made this second-round investment at this strategic stage in the business’s development. “They supported the Management Buy-In seven years ago and are now backing the company again with this growth package to help us move to another level. Their role has been crucial and I am very grateful to them.”