Hardide is a company whose value depends on an ever-increasing range of successful, long‑term profitable applications, customer approvals and industry accreditations. A typical period between starting to develop an application with a customer and initial revenue is 18 to 24 months, but can be much greater, such as with aerospace or power generation. The Board believes that the greatest shareholder value will be achieved by a diverse range of applications, customers and markets. To achieve this greater value, the Company’s strategy is to invest in marketing, technology and capacity ahead of sales revenue. The effect is not profit-maximising in the short term but, as sales revenue grows beyond the break-even point, the Company’s strong operational gearing will result in a rapid growth in profitability thereafter.
The recent relocation of the UK business to a new larger site has created a world-class, quality image of the Company and will impress existing and potential customers. Considerable attention has been paid to enhancing both physical and cyber security at this new site. Undoubtedly, the new facility will add value to the Company.
Considerable success has been had recently in diversifying the company’s customer and sector base and, after many years of development and achieving necessary approvals, the Company is close to making significant sales to major players in the aerospace industry.
A completely new and potentially very large sector is in the power generation industry; initially with steam and gas turbines. So far, Hardide’s technical development of coatings for this application have progressed well, but final specification may still take a couple of years. In this project, our marketing efforts are enhanced by keen interest from EDF and with several turbine manufacturers. This powerful ‘push-pull’ marketing is in place in another of Hardide’s market sectors and we are seeking further opportunities to deploy it.
Hardide is a niche player in the world of engineered hard coatings and, apart from having facilities in the UK and the USA, has no facilities in many areas of the world where customers use such coatings. In order to expand Hardide’s geographic footprint, the Board’s strategy is to do so by way of collaboration with larger coatings companies through technical and commercial cooperation, or joint ventures.
Intellectual property (‘IP’)
Being central to its activity, the Company’s intellectual property portfolio is substantial and very carefully managed and protected. The recent granting of a patent for the turbine blade application has ‘re-lifed’ many aspects of previous patents. This is a very valuable development.
Equal in importance to registered IP, is the knowledge embedded in the Company’s operating procedures and staff as to how the Hardide coating process is operated and controlled.