Quickstep reports strong sales on defence, aviation composites

Sydney based composites manufacturer, Quickstep Holdings (ASX: QHL) has reported another strong quarter of growth, with year to date sales now up 19 per cent on the same period last year.

The manufacturer of aerospace and aviation composites reported third quarter sales up 13 per cent to $16.5 million, bringing sales so far this year to a record $50.4 million.

The company continued to report positive cash flows as it stepped up production of composites used to manufacturer the twin tails of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The company reported: “Quickstep remains on track to deliver significantly higher JSF volumes over the next 18 months, with JSF revenue expected to increase approximately 40 per cent in FY19.”

A machine tool failure reported three months ago has been resolved but was a drag on performance in the third quarter.

“An improved operational performance and lift in gross margin per cent is expected in Q4, including benefits from process improvements identified during the outage.”

The company has been building up inventory to support the production ramp up and ended the quarter with a cash position of $7.6 million.

During the quarter Quickstep furthered its plans with Chemring Australia to begin production of flare housings for the F-35.

It also produced test production samples of aerospace grade composites using its patented Qure production process that avoids the expensive autoclave stage.

Quickstep continues its lean and continuous improvement initiatives across all functions at the Bankstown and Geelong sites.

“Initiatives undertaken by our process improvement teams in Q3 include improvements to production cycle times, visual management, process mapping and the introduction of new workplace organisation methods.”

Picture: Defence: F-35

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