Walsall-based manufacturer Castings has announced director changes, as chairman Brian Cooke steps down.

Cooke will step down on January 1, 2023, with Alec Jones, currently a senior independent director, succeeding him.

Mark Smith has been appointed non-executive director with effect from November 16, 2022. He is also appointed chairman of the audit and risk committee and member of the nomination and remuneration committees. Smith was a partner at PwC LLP for 24 years until his retirement from the firm in September 2021. He served as Midlands Regional Chairman and Senior Partner in the UK Audit and Risk business and has extensive experience in the audit of limited companies.

Sales for the six months to September were £85.6m (2021 – £69.7m) with pre-tax profit of £7.5m (2021 – 5, £4 million).

Input price changes continue to be passed on to customers through escalations and further price increases. The most significant increase came into effect on October 1, 2022, following the end of the electricity contract at the Castings package. The higher unit cost of electricity is immediately billed to customers and will therefore increase revenues in the second half. This should not have a negative effect on the profit of the group because it is a passing on of a direct increase in costs.

Hill & Smith, the transportation infrastructure group, says trading “remained robust with revenue from continuing operations 18% ahead of the prior period.”

Pricing actions were taken to offset inflation, resulting in higher operating margins than in the first half of 2022 and the same period last year. The favorable currency headwind also means the group expects full-year operating profit to beat the current analyst consensus.

Hill & Smith has completed the refinancing of its main bank credit facility. The new £250m revolving credit facility has an initial maturity of four years with an option to extend for a further year on the first anniversary, providing the group with certainty of funding to support growth opportunities.

The company has made several acquisitions this year, the most recent being the £22.2 million purchase of California-based National Signal, a designer, manufacturer and supplier of off-grid solar lighting solutions in the United States.

It’s £3.7 million. The acquisition of Widnes Galvanizing has strengthened its presence in the North West of the UK and fits in well.

In its business statement, Hill & Smith said: “While being aware of the current macroeconomic uncertainty, the group has a proven track record of resilience and, with exposure to the structural growth markets of sustainable infrastructure and safe transport , is well placed to keep its promises. strategic targets. Therefore, we expect further progress in 2023.”