• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

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Tharsus Group has announced further significant investment in its design and manufacturing facilities in Blyth as 85% revenue growth reported for 2018 reflects the global opportunities that it has developed.

Autumn 2019 will see the Group quadruple manufacturing capacity for advanced machines and robots (AMRs), as it completes a £3m move to new headquarters. This establishes a world-class design, development and New Product Introduction facility in the Group’s home town of Blyth, Northumberland. The move is in direct response to significant revenue growth across current customers, as well as increased capacity to meet demand from new customers.

The Group comprises Tharsus Limited (“Tharsus”), a full product design, manufacture and aftermarket servicing company which works with customers to design and build AMRs which deliver strategic commercial and competitive impact for them, through the integration of new technologies. Its sister company Universal Wolf Limited (“Universal Wolf”) is a leader in complex fabrication, providing customers with their specific requirements through a unique combination of organisation, experience, ability and resources.

The 2018 results that have been published recently demonstrate the Group’s’ continued ability to increase revenue above market rate, and to attract new customers. 

Group revenue increased by 85% to £51.2m (2017: £27.7m) with Tharsus providing the majority of the increase as its revenue increased by £23.0m. Costs to create additional capacity and elevate executional capabilities continue to increase ahead of revenue growth in order to be capable of absorbing further business growth from an economy seeking productivity gains in many sectors from the deployment of AMRs. This continued investment has impacted the profitability that would have otherwise been achieved during the financial year.

Universal Wolf has benefited from a rebranding exercise during the year as its revenue increased by 22.4% and it became established as the new disruptive brand in its sector. The revenue growth is concentrated in the second half of 2018 and so the full year effects of this growth combined with new customer wins in the new financial year means that the outlook for 2019 financial year is very positive. In order to support this growth capital expenditure investment, mainly in plant and machinery, increased to £0.59m (2017: £0.06m).

Group EBITDA of £1.0m was similar to the prior year reflecting the investment decisions made in the year to pursue the growth opportunities. Investments have been made in additional colleagues and infrastructure to ensure that the business continues to manage such growth effectively which has constrained the 2018 EBITDA.

In order to support the Group’s ambitions the leadership team has been added to with Gerard Murray (Chief Financial Officer), John Toal (Business Development Director – Tharsus), Alasdair Waugh (COO – Tharsus) and Patrick MacDonald (Managing Director – Universal Wolf) joining the Group over the last 18 months.

Group headcount has risen from 216 to over 300 colleagues today, with new talent adding experience and capability to every specialist area of the business.

The investment strategy reflects accelerated demand for Tharsus designed and manufactured AMRs, on behalf of its international customers. The impact of increased global competition and scarcity of labour in key sectors of the UK and European economy, such as logistics and agriculture, is further driving increased demand.

Universal Wolf has seen a number of key customer wins through developing partnerships with companies considered leading brands in their respective sectors. The business now supplies the commercial vehicle and machine tooling sectors as well as increasing customers within existing markets.  The development of a New Product Introduction (NPI) discipline has enabled Universal Wolf to successfully accelerate the on-boarding of new products. Universal Wolf is preparing for continued future growth through the imminent introduction of a second factory in 2019, which will almost double their footprint from 35,000 sq ft to 68,000 sq ft.

Editor’s Notes

About Tharsus

Tharsus Group, headquartered in Blyth, Northumberland, has two operating entities. Tharsus Ltd is a designer and manufacturer of Advanced Machines and Robotics (AMRs.) Universal Wolf is a leader in complex metal fabrication.


Tharsus Ltd is an award winning partner for the emerging and increasing numbers of product owners looking to harness the power of new and existing technologies to disrupt their sectors, gaining strategic competitive advantage and substantial commercial returns.

Long term mutually beneficial partnerships with customers are at the core of what we do. Our team of highly skilled and experienced designers, engineers and technical experts  work in collaboration with our customers to navigate them from their initial idea right through to production of their AMR at scale. 

We take customers through the complete product development journey, from agreeing the commercial concept for their AMR, through feasibility research, design, testing, prototyping and onto volume manufacture. All the while we keep to shared aims and goals.

For more information visit: www.tharsus.co.uk

Universal Wolf is an award-winning complex sheet metal fabricator. We work with brand-leading companies across a variety of sectors, from automated transport and energy storage to security and defence.

Universal Wolf is an old Shakespearean term for ambition and appetite, taken from the play Troilus and Cressida. Wolves are smart thinkers, and they work extremely effectively as a pack. ‘Universal Wolf’ reflects our company essence, history and values.

We have a Passion for Better. Our team of skilled engineers, fabricators and welders are experts in Design for Manufacture, working in partnership with our customers to ensure their products are made to the very highest quality, in the most efficient way.

For more information, visit www.universalwolf.co.uk