Strong order book at Bondshold after static year
Historic metal castings company Bondshold has a strong order book in place after coming to the end of what was a "static year", its chairman told Insider.
The Hexham-headquartered company, which supplies products to heavy industries including the construction and oil and gas sectors, was formed in 1868. It has two foundries in County Durham and a precision castings business in Alston, Cumbria, which it acquired in 2010.
Paul Duncan, chairman of Bondshold, said sales at the company's Crook site have increased for the year ended 30 September 2014, but overall sales have been "relatively similar to last year", when its revenue was £16.8m.
"It's been a static year," Duncan told Insider. "There is still a market downturn in oil and gas which is related to both oil price and the general lack of projects.
"The order book, however, is strong. We generally fill it up to three to four months in advance."
In May, Duncan spoke of addressing a skills shortage in the industry which he described as an "ongoing challenge".
"We probably won't be creating jobs this year. The way we do things is apprentices and we will continue our apprenticeship scheme this year."
Duncan added that he expected the current financial year to be similar to that of the previous one.