Published On: Thu, Oct 24th, 2019

PERCIVAL AVIATION: Aerospace supplier seals £6.85m Santander funding deal for global trade | City & Business | Finance

The UK family firm is forecasting a £10 million turnover for 2019 following record growth in the past two years for its products that get the most from limited spaces while complying with the strictest of safety regulations. Providing both innovative replacements and original equipment, Percival’s diverse ranges include soft furnishings, seating, flooring, WC parts and branded items such as safety kits. Among the commercial giants its supplies are Airbus, British Airways, Emirates and American Airlines.

Known for being a nimble operator with one-stop shop capabilities, the company cross trains its workforce to cope with the variety of skills needed, such as specialist welding, and handles numerous projects at one time.  

“We design, certify and manufacture in parallel to offer rapid solutions and the shortest lead times possible to our customers. This is what sets us apart,” explains chief executive Neil Percival, whose father Keith founded the Fareham, Hampshire-based business in 1978.  

Forging strong ties British Airways, relatively just up the road at Heathrow, was fundamental in building its customer base.   

On the maintenance side much demand has grown from the company devising, say, a superior solution for a wear-and-tear problem on one model of airliner then taking its knowledge and proof of concept to other operators with the same fleets.  

Now the company is heading into a new era with a move locally in December to its own 40,000 sq ft purpose-built factory. 

The Santander deal and associated investment in the premises is its biggest to date. The expansion will create 20 more jobs and bring closer the firm’s ambition to double output. 

Export has been a cornerstone of its strategy and it sells through its own sales team into Europe, the Middle and Far East and the Americas.

From next year it will also manufacture in Texas, with jobs for 10 people, a move that will give it vital supplier visibility on the ground.

The firm also has plans for Poland too. It was through a trade corridor Santander set up there that it met a seating manufacturer it may work with in future.

“The bank funding has been integral to our growth plans in the UK but it is more than that,” adds Percival.

“Santander’s contacts in the aerospace industry and those in Poland have been very valuable and helped drive our international aspirations. 

“They took a multi-disciplinary approach to us. There was clearly an interest in our business not just the numbers and this has made a big difference.”

Matthew Shaw, Santander relationship director, added:“Percival Aviation is a great example of a traditional family-run UK business that has made a great success of itself in a highly competitive global sector.”

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