Weir boss upbeat about 2024 outlook

Staff reporter

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Weir Group CEO Jon Stanton

Weir Group CEO Jon Stanton says the company is “positioned for another year of growth and margin expansion” after lifting net profit and revenue 7% year-on-year to £2636 million and £229m, respectively, in the 2023 year.

Total orders were slightly down for the latest year at £2585m (£2590m in 2022), however, Stanton said Weir had a growing installed base of plant and equipment, a strong order book and “ore production trends in our mining markets are positive”.

“Throughout [2023] activity levels in mining markets were high,” he said.

“Market prices for our main commodity exposures of copper, gold and iron ore were well above the cost curve, and our customers capitalised by maximising ore production.

“Continued complexities in the permitting and regulatory environment meant large expansion projects remained slow to convert, so customers’ capital expenditure was largely focused on developing and improving the efficiency of existing assets.

“We begin 2024 with a strong order book and positive ore production trends in our mining markets.

“These trends, coupled with the impact of declining grades and installed base expansion, are driving increased demand for our aftermarket spares and expendables.

“We are also seeing good momentum in demand for our OE [original equipment] solutions, as customers focus on improving the efficiency and sustainability of existing assets.

“In 2024, this continued favourable backdrop in mining, together with softer year-on-year order comparatives in oil sands and infrastructure, underpins our confidence in delivering growth in constant currency revenue, profit and operating margins.”

Weir has a 2026 operating margin target of 20% and improved 140 basis points in 2023 from 16% to 17.4%.

Primarily an equipment and parts manufacturer, Weir was “making good progress with our technology focused growth initiatives”, Stanton said.

He cited field trials of Cavex 2.0 hydrocyclone mineral separation technology and a new ESCO ground engaging tool (GET) system. The £7m (US$9m) acquisition of Sweden’s SentianAI had “expanded our digital capability and stepped up the roll-out of our process optimisation solutions”.

“We converted over 85% of our mill circuit pump trials and won market share with our latest Cavex 2.0 cyclone technology,” Stanton said.

“We published the findings from our first ever avoided emissions study.

“The results, which have been independently verified, show that by choosing our Redefined Mill Circuit incorporating Enduron high pressure grinding rolls technology … instead of a traditional mill circuit which uses tumbling mill technology, energy consumption is reduced by over 40% and CO2 emissions are more than halved per tonne of ore.

“The study, which we announced at the COP28 summit in December, is the first of its kind for a mining use case and is receiving global interest from a range of stakeholders, including customers, governmental bodies and the finance sector.”

Weir finished 2023 with net debt to EBITDA of 1.1-times, “giving the group considerable resilience and flexibility to deploy capital to drive shareholder value”.

An end-of-year 20.8p-per-share dividend took the full-year payout to 38.6p a share, up 18% yoy.

London-listed Weir’s share price is up about 4.6% over the past month, capitalising the company at ₤4.93 billion.


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