Since its inception in 1959, West Sussex-based HPC Engineering has been 100% financed by Sir Gawaine Baillie, its founder and sole owner. The company began as a small tool room and machine shop, and has grown into one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of air compressors to the motor industry. It is also a major engineering firm in its own right, machining everything from tank turret slip-rings for the Ministry of Defece to Flying Lady bonnet emblems for Rolls Royce at its purpose-built site in Burgess Hill. Profits have grown by 52% pa, from £1.2m in 1995 to £4.1m in 1998. Sales have increased by just 10% pa in the same period to £28.7m. The company attributes its success to a policy of always taking the long-term view. When other engineering firms were running down capacity and staff during the recession in the early 1990s, HPC withstood such temptations and reaped the benefits when the market showed an upswing.
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