Consumer goods business posts ‘resilient’ full year figures

Simon Showman

Ultimate Products, the Oldham consumer goods specialist, reported improved annual pre-tax profits today, despite a fall in revenues.

In the year to July 31, the business experienced a 6.1% fall in sales of £115.7m, which it said reflected order cancellations and deferrals due to the COVID-19 pandemic – albeit offset by strong growth in sales to supermarkets and online channels.

Online revenues were up 47.2% to £16.7m, representing 14.5% of overall revenue, compared with 9.2% last year.

Profit before tax rose by 2.9% to £8.4m.

Net debt amounted to £3.8m, against £14.4m in fiscal year 2019 and the business has Bbnk facility headroom of £21.3m, up from £10.1m a year ago.

The company has also repaid the £465,237 received under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme), with all VAT and PAYE payments up to date having ceased using those deferral schemes.

A dull year dividend of 3.955p per share is down by 3.2%.

In the period since the financial year end, Ultimate Products has appointdc Jill Easterbrook and Christine Adshead as independent non-executive directors.

Chief executive Simon Showman said: “We are pleased to have delivered such a resilient performance amidst the unprecedented challenges brought about by COVID-19.

“Through a relentless focus on our strategy and the extraordinary commitment, professionalism and adaptability of our colleagues, our performance has substantially exceeded the expectations that we had at the beginning of the pandemic.

“These results are another clear illustration of the strength of our business model and the importance of having a diversified customer base.

“Time and time again, we have also found that, in difficult trading conditions, retailers require suppliers that can provide them with certainty through compelling value, quality and supply, which plays squarely to our strengths.”

He added: “While the market conditions for general merchandise look set to remain challenging in the UK and Europe in the short-term, we remain confident in the long-term prospects of Ultimate Products.”

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