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Ace Winches ‘exciting plans for the future’ after regaining control from Balmoral Group

Alfie Cheyne Ace Winches chief executive. Supplied by Michal Wachucik
Alfie Cheyne Ace Winches chief executive. Supplied by Michal Wachucik

Ace Winches founder Alfie Cheyne has “exciting plans for the future” after taking back control of the business from investor, Balmoral Group.

Mr Cheyne made the comments as the Turriff-headquartered company announced a return to profitability. The company said it made a turnover of £28 million and a pre-tax profit of £3.2m for the 12-month period ending March 31 this year.

Last year, in the 17 months to end of March 2020, turnover was £29m and the business suffered a pre-tax loss of £10.4m.

The losses triggered Balmoral Group upping its stake in the firm to 70% to become the main shareholder.

However, relationships soured between the two businesses and last month it was announced Mr Cheyne and his wife Valerie exercised a right to buy Ace Winches back.

Pictured in 2017 (l-r) is Alfie Cheyne, chief executive and founder of Ace Winches and Jim Milne, chairman and managing director at Balmoral Group.

Mr Cheyne said: “The positive financial results are a sign of things to come for the company.

“We have exciting plans for the future of Ace, which includes evolving to meet the needs of a changing market and achieving our objectives of diversification and geographical expansion. The results announced today give us a solid foundation to build from.

The positive financial results are a sign of things to come for the company.”

Alfie Cheyne, Ace Winches chief executive

“Going into the new year, we have a strong order book and have had a steady stream of significant inquiries.

“We have invested heavily in our rental fleet over the last two years, with more than £5 million being allocated to it.

“This is an indication of a shifting demand from industry, and we will continue to invest in our rental pool.”

Job losses as part of restructure

As part of a group restructuring plan, the deck machinery specialist is proposing to make around 16 positions redundant across several departments at its global headquarters in Turriff.

Ace Winches currently employs 155 people at the base.

Alastair Scott Ace Winches chief financial officer said: “The last two years have been challenging for all companies, but we are pleased with the financial performance of the business, which has exceeded budget expectations.

“We have developed a strong plan for future success addressing both existing and new markets, which has been supported by investors, and we are looking forward to delivering that in the months and years ahead.”

Mr Cheyne launched Alfred Cheyne Engineering in 1992, rebranding the company as Ace Winches 14 years later.

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