‘Diverse board’ helps Gloucestershire FTSE 100 firm deliver 20 per cent growth

One of Gloucestershire's biggest private employers has used a year of successful financial results — including turnover rising to £1,610 million — to draw attention to its efforts to tackle diversity in its business.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Jamie Pike says Spirax Sarco's increasingly diverse board brought 'real value' to the global business.

Engineering giant Spirax Sarco, one of Gloucestershire’s biggest private employers, said it had delivered a 20 per cent rise in turnover, highlighting its efforts to tackle diversity within the firm.

As a member of the FTSE 100, pressure to deliver a board which better reflects UK society has been increased since the Parker Review in 2017 — this highlighted that only 85 of the 1,050 directors in the UK’s biggest 100 public firms were held by people from ethnic minorities.

Pressure remains high to tackle gender diversity too and in February this year, the FTSE’s top 350 firms achieved the 2025 target of 40 per cent of board members being female.

Spirax Sarco is one of those that has concentrated on getting its own house in order, with Jamie Pike, chairman of the steam engineering experts, choosing to lead his statement in the firm’s annual report on the matter.

Pike said: ‘Our board is diverse ethnically, culturally and in terms of gender, bringing value to our group, because of our board members' rich diversity of perspectives and experiences, enabling them to better understand and consider the needs of all our stakeholders.

‘At the end of December 2022, the board met the 40 per cent female representation target and with three members of the board coming from a minority ethnic background, we exceeded the Parker Review target of at least one individual.’

Pike also highlighted the appointment of Sarah Peers, group director of sustainability, becoming a member of the group executive committee in October last year.

The firm, which recently unveiled a stylish redesign of its world-wide headquarters in Charlton Kings, designed by architects Roberts Limbrick, defied 'a volatile year for the world's economies', delivering revenues of £1,610 million.

But it could not escape the rising costs afflicting many, with its own bills increasing by £268 million and adjusted operating profits falling from 25.3 per cent to 23.6 per cent.

Nicholas Anderson, Spirax Sarco's group chief executive and an ambassador for the 25x25 campaign, which is seeking to achieve 25 female CEOs in the FTSE100 by 2025, said: ‘We remain confident in our ability to self-generate growth and protect margins, while navigating the uncertainties ahead.

‘We look forward to delivering another year of overall double-digit sales growth, together with a small progression in the group's adjusted operating profit margin and improved cash conversion.’

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