Consumer goods group returns government furlough payments

Simon Showman
X The Business Desk

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Ultimate Products has taken the decision to repay the £465,237 loan it received from the Government under the Coronavirus Jon Retention Scheme, it announced today.

The Oldham-based group, which designs and develops an extensive range of value-focused consumer goods brands, also said it does not intend to make any further claims under the furlough scheme or for the associated Job Retention Bous.

It said it is also no longer utilising the Government Time to Pay and VAT deferral schemes. All VAT and PAYE payments are up to date as at July 31, 2020.

This is because the group’s profitability and cash generation have been stronger than expected during this coronavirus crisis.

Chief executive Simon Showman said: “The furlough scheme allowed us to work through the significant challenges that COVID-19 initially caused for our business.

“We are grateful to the Government and the taxpayer for providing us with this support.

“As a result of the outstanding resilience, hard work and professionalism of our people, the outlook for our business is now much clearer.

“Returning this money to the taxpayer is, therefore, the right and proper thing for us to do.”

He added: “As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt globally, and particularly in Oldham at the present time, we are determined to carry on supporting local charities and initiatives in order to help ease the hardship felt by many in the communities in which we are proud to operate.”

Ultimate Products had previously issued two profit upgrades in the past couple of months – one in June, and one in July – driven by a particularly strong showing with online retail customers (which include Amazon, eBay, Groupon), coupled with strong sales of cleaning products, as people have focused on hygiene and home cleaning during lockdown, cooking products, as people have become home chefs, and cooling products, given the hot Spring and Summer period.