Recent years have seen dramatic rises in the share price of Canada's Héroux-Devtek, which this year is at number 99 in the Top 100. Early in 2006 the price sat below C$4 in the latest fiscal year it reached C$11.30. The upward surge was powered by a succession of major contract wins. Among these, Héroux-Devtek was selected to supply structural components for Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter and landing gears and tail bumper assemblies for Sikorsky's CH-35K helicopter.

Two new endorsements were gained at Farnborough. Embraer contracted the company to supply landing gear structure and actuation for its Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 programmes, while a letter of agreement with Bell Helicopter Textron nominated Héroux-Devtek to supply primary structural components for the new Bell 429 Global Ranger helicopter.

The company's strategy is focused on three core areas: landing gear, aerostructures and gas turbine components. Focused in the first two areas, aerospace business represents 90% of the total. Total sales in the year to 31 March were up 8.7% on the year before, while net income almost doubled to $27 million.

 Gilles Labbé
 © Héroux-Devtek

This performance leap was achieved under chief executive , who in partnership with Sarto Richer acquired Héroux Inc from Bombardier in a 1985 management buyout. After floating on the Montreal stock exchange in 1986, Héroux Inc sought to decrease its reliance on military business and to expand beyond Canada, signalling the latter intent with the acquisition of Ohio's McSwain Manufacturing in 1987. Other acquisitions followed. In 1999, it purchased Métro Machining and Les Industries, establishing its aerostructures business. In 2000, it gained its current name by acquiring Devtek.

Today Héroux-Devtek operates four facilities in Quebec, two in Ontario and two in the USA. With government help, a C$40 million ($39 million) modernisation programme was implemented at Quebec facilities in 2007, amid concerns about the strength of the Canadian dollar against its US counterpart. Yet the currency situation and threat of recession have failed to cool Canadian ambitions. It expects growth of 10% in the current fiscal year.




Source: Flight International