DESPITE increasing revenue, Malvern engineering group Tricorn has slipped to a small loss as it laid the groundwork for future growth. The tube manipulation specialist of Spring Lane posted turnover of ?24.5m in the year ended March 31, a rise of 14.6 per cent.

The increase came as new business revenue continued to grow in America and the company made further progress in China where it has a facility and a joint venture. Tricorn restructured its energy and aerospace divisions in the period as it experienced a softening in demand and the group fell to a pre-tax loss of ?343,000 in 2013/14, compared with a ?1.6m profit the year before. It also finished the period with a widening net debt, up from ?1.9m to ?3.4m, although it had pulled it back from the half-year position.

Chairman Nick Paul said: "The year has proved challenging with expansion in our international manufacturing capability coinciding with necessary structural change. Tricorn has successfully delivered these changes while absorbing the costs, which demonstrates the resilience of the group. Tricorn has made significant progress in laying the foundations for long-term growth and has made further encouraging progress in strengthening relationships with its blue-chip customers. With manufacturing facilities now established in America and China, the group is well positioned to capitalise on the growth anticipated from these regions and as markets recover."