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Quickstep gains sales despite Covid risk to aerospace sector

Manufacturing News

Composites manufacturer Quickstep continued its expansion in the latest quarter, reporting sales up 16 per cent to $22.6 million over the previous corresponding period.

During the quarter volumes from existing products ramped up and final qualification parts were produced for its newest product, the flare housings for the MJU-68 being developed by Chemring Australia for fitment to the F-35 Lightning joint strike fighter.

The first deliveries of of 10 new par types for the F-35 are ‘progressing very well’ to Northrop Grumman, with he remainder to be delivered by the end of 2020.

Volumes of F-35 vertical tails under contract with Marand increased during the past 12 months as Quickstep has gained market share.

Meanwhile production of parts for the C-130J Hercules for Lockheed Martin (pictured), for the Micro-X Nano lightweight X-ray machine and for the Lockelec train ramp are ongoing.

Together with a reduction in inventory built up to mitigate against Covid-19 and a $500,000 cost of a headcount reduction, Quickstep ended the quarter with net cash flow of $1.4 million.

The Sydney company commented that it had seen a marked increase in customer enquiries and requests for quotation following a relatively quiet six months.

“Whilst the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the short-term risks to the aerospace and defence industry are becoming clearer.

“Announcements concerning further increases to the Australian defence budget provide significant potential opportunities for new business across unmanned aircraft, helicopters and missile systems.”

Quickstep expects to see a five to 10 per cent increase in revenue excluding any major new contract wins in the year ahead.

R&D spending will focus on the company’s composite curing process AeroQure.

Picture: Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules

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