The breathing equipment firm based in Blyth, Northumberland, has won a €100m contract to make safety masks.
Breathing equipment manufacturer Draeger Safety UK is preparing for strong growth after winning a €100m contract to supply the UK Government with masks.
Newly published accounts show that Draeger, which makes breathing equipment for the fire service and health sector, brought in £108.6m for the year ending December 31 2019, up from £104m during 2018.
But the company is expecting to grow further during 2020 after experiencing high demand for its products during the coronavirus pandemic.
Draeger’s senior management team used its financial results to explain that it expected to grow during the pandemic.
The company said: “Management has also reviewed the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and the resulting measures implemented by the UK Government.
“These are expected to have a positive impact on the company’s results in the short term, with potential reduction in longer-term business as a result of reduced investment in several industries including oil and gas.
“Management will keep these impacts under review and will adjust the company’s activities and cost base accordingly.”
It added: “Manufacturing and other activities requiring a physical presence on site have been maintained throughout, operating at all times in accordance with Covid-19 secure guidance from the Government and Public Health England.”
The pandemic has created a huge demand for masks and breathing equipment and in July Draeger won a major contract to supply respiratory protection masks to the Government. The order is expected to generate net sales worth €100m (£89.5m). To fulfil the contract, which will run until the end of 2021, Draeger set up a new production facility at its site in Blyth, Northumberland.
Rainer Klug, chief officer of safety division at Draeger, said: “We are very pleased about the major order from the British Government. It gives us the opportunity to expand our international production network for FFP masks. With this additional production unit, Draeger will increase volumes quickly and flexibly.
“Our international production network enables us to react very quickly and specifically to national or local requirements on the one hand, and to cover international requirements in a closely networked and flexible manner on the other. Draeger thus operates a highly responsive manufacturing system for certified FFP respiratory protection masks, with a product design originating from our own development in Germany.”
Draeger added £4m to its turnover in 2019, partly due to a new generation of breathing apparatus gaining regulatory approval in North America. The firm said this led to “substantially increased sales in the US” which reversed the “decline seen in the prior year”.
Recovery in the oil and gas sector also had a positive impact on the firm’s sales.
But despite the increase in sales the Draeger’s operating profit fell from £12.6m to £7.2m during the same period.