Bassi acquisition fuels record sales year for Gateshead vehicle firm Sevcon

Gateshead-based Sevcon has celebrated record sales of £40m for 2016, a 21% increase on last year’s £33m total, although the low carbon vehicle business did report losses for the year.

The Team Valley firm develops controllers for the motors of electric and hybrid vehicle, which in turn act as the brains of the transmission system controlling speed and overall fuel consumption.

The low carbon vehicle firm’s acquisition of Italian battery charging company Bassi was highlighted as a significant contributor to sales success.

However, the company revealed that costs associated with the purchase, which included the recruitment of more engineers, coupled with the falling value of Sterling, impacted on its bottom line.

Sevcon therefore reported an operating loss of £4.2m compared with a profit of £1.5m in 2015.

Matt Boyle, Sevcon President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "We have more projects in the pipeline than ever before and we expect that customer enthusiasm for Sevcon’s capabilities will continue.

"Our Bassi acquisition has performed above our expectations for 2016, having reported 26% revenue growth post-acquisition compared with the same eight-month period in the prior year.

“Adding Bassi’s state-of-the-art battery charging technology and power management capabilities to Sevcon’s advanced control technologies strengthens our ability to deliver the more integrated solutions that our markets and our customers are demanding.”

Sevcon has taken on over 20 new staff at its Gateshead headquarters as well as opening a new office in Oxford, taking total engineering headcount to over 80.

Mr Boyle added: “We are bullish about our prospects as we enter 2017. While we expect challenging conditions in traditional, industrial markets this year, we expect to see an uptick in our on-road business as a result of our strong project pipeline.

“As we look even further out, our project pipeline and the market demand for electrification solutions provides us with significant opportunity for growth.”