Richard Barr founded Centrax in Devon in 1946 after working with World War II jet engine pioneer Frank Whittle. Centrax started life making jet compressor blades and in the mid-1980’s, after diversifying into a range of other products, it is to this core activity that the company returned. Now under the direction of Richard’s sons, Charles and Richard Barr, the company’s top customers include US-based Rolls Royce Allison, and Europe’s Airbus Industries. Charles Barr says investment in new computer-controlled machining equipment and Japanese production management methods lie behind a 32% pa profit growth from £2.3m in 1995 to £5.4m in 1998. Sales grew by 14% pa over the same period to £55.8m. 80% of these are derived from exports.
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