Rejuvenated Motherwell Bridge wins rights to use original name

THE rehabilitation of the former Motherwell Bridge engineering group has taken another step forward with the imminent return of its original name.

MB Engineering Solutions, the company formed to salvage part of the Motherwell Bridge Holdings group, has acquired the rights to the Motherwell Bridge name and intends to adopt it from August.

Hugh Hayes, the executive chairman parachuted in to rebuild the company after its collapse two years ago, has sealed agreement on the name after protracted talks with the receiver of Motherwell Bridge Holdings. He said: “The Motherwell Bridge name is still a very strong brand, recognised and well known to clients throughout the world. Most clients still call the group Motherwell Bridge and it was logical to recover the name as soon as it was practical.

“We expect to bring the name back into general use in due course, once one or two procedural matters are completed.”

He said the name should be back in time for the next set of trading results in late August. Under Hayes’ strategy, the company has switched from high-volume production to become a low-volume supplier of spares, repair and maintenance services, inspection and design solutions. Cash flow has improved, the headcount has been reduced, and unprofitable businesses closed or sold. It expects to report a significant improvement in profits for its first full year of trading, ending this month.

MB turned previous losses into a £250,000 profit before tax and exceptional charges in its first nine months of trading to the end of June 2004. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were £3.37m. Non-recurring items, such as heavy redundancy and settlement payments, produced a pre-tax loss for the period of £3.6m.

The turnaround has been built on a number of vital orders. MB Aerospace recently secured an additional $2m order from Boeing, and MB Engineering Services won a £500,000 gasholder design and engineering contract from Bhushan, a new Indian steel-making client engaged in a £500m expansion project.

“Both of these orders were won on the back of the new company’s performance, commitment and reputation, and we expect both to contribute to a further improvement in trading performance in the next financial year,” said Hayes.

In April the company safeguarded 200 jobs after completing the acquisition of its current site in Motherwell. It also announced that all payments due to the old Motherwell Bridge pension scheme had been made on time.

To date, £1.9m has been paid into the scheme and a further £1m will be paid by the end of September 2005.

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