A FASTENINGS company has played down Brexit fears, saying its diverse industrial footprint will provide scope to build on a record-breaking year.

Trifast believes strong market demand and a heavy European presence leaves it agile enough to swerve EU jitters.

The bullish outlook came after bosses hailed robust trading, wherein revenue and profit increased and gross margin exceeded 30 per cent for the first time in the company’s history.

The business runs a plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, under its TR Fastenings banner, which oversees supply of products such as nuts, bolts and screws.

According to its annual financial results, released yesterday (Tuesday, June 13), clamour for such wares remained strong during the last 12 months, despite market changes caused by Brexit.

Mark Belton, chief executive, said the company was pushing on, with pre-tax profit up 15 per cent to £15.1m and underlying pre-tax profit propelled £2.4m higher to £18.1m thanks to Brexit’s impact on exchange rates.

Citing Trifast’s European network as an antidote to any issues caused by the EU divorce, he said: “The current financial year has started well and there is no indication this will change.

“There are some macroeconomic factors we cannot fully mitigate, including movements in foreign currency and the ongoing volatility in the raw materials markets, as well as the wider potential implications of Brexit on our business and the UK economy.

“We are already starting to see some purchase price challenges, which we expect to increase over time if circumstances persist.

“However, with our geographical diversity, our balanced sector mix and our strategies for growth, we remain optimistic.”

The company last year revealed plans to take advantage of robotic vehicles’ evolution, saying car makers’ forays into self-driving battery models, such as Google’s autonomous city car project, was an opportunity to take advantage of untapped riches.

Highlighting enduring demand across the motoring sector, Malcolm Diamond, non-executive chairman, also reiterated the message that the business’ European presence will help with Brexit and complement its Aycliffe base.

He added: “The most impact is likely to be import and export tariffs.

“Fortunately, with our facilities in Germany, Sweden, Hungary and Holland, plus a new Spanish site, we can switch purchase, warehousing and sales activities between Europe and the UK should the markets demand.”

Glenda Roberts, Trifast’s global sales director, previously told The Northern Echo how the company was continuing to build its presence in Aycliffe, where it employs a number of people across sales, logistics and technical support.

She too said the business, which once supported manufacturers Black and Decker and Electrolux in the region, was benefiting from its focus on automotive work.

She said: “We are now one of the major suppliers in the area and have re-invented ourselves in the North-East.”