Hogarth to help boost Metalrax's falling profits

Metals giant Metalrax Gro-up, which has served Eurostar at St Pancras and manufactures Delia Smith baking trays, has changed agency support as it reports its first loss in more than 17 years.

Metalrax: famous for steel works
Metalrax: famous for steel works

The firm, which was using Smithfield, has turned to the Hogarth Partnership. Hogarth partners Rachel Hirst and Andrew Jaques, who head the account, worked with Metalrax CEO Andrew Richardson in his previous role at industrial safety firm Halma. It is thought he wanted the change of agency to boost the firm's turnaround.

Hogarth will advise Metalrax on its 'strategic and structural turnaround' as it looks to exit the high-volume low margin automotive business and focus on its specialist interests. Alongside Richardson, who joined last July, the firm brought in Michael Stock as its finance director last month.

Metalrax began selling assets and terminated some contracts last year to halt the decline in profitability. In its strategy review in January this year, the firm said it would eliminate unprofitable units and make acquisitions as part of an overhaul.

It is also thought to be selling parts of its West Midlands-based automotive division and an unprofitable Romanian business.

Last month the Birmingham-based firm reported a loss of £6.99m in the past year, which analysts suggested was due to declining automotive earnings. Group revenue dropped 1.3 per cent to £118.6m.

The group is famous for its work in steel products, such as the steel staircases at the new Westfield shopping centre, west London.

Its Consumer Durables division produces the majority of bakeware sold in the UK.

Hogarth senior associate Anthony Arthur also heads the account.

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