Strong year for Ultimate Products as revenues rise despite Covid-19 disruptions

Simon Showman

Ultimate Products, the consumer products group which sells brands including Russell Hobbs and Beldray, has reported a rise in revenue in its pre-close trading update.

In the financial year to the end of 31 July 2021, the Oldham-headquartered group reported unaudited revenues up 17.9% to £136.4m, up from £115.7m in the previous year.

The group saw growth across international, supermarkets, online channels and discount retailers – despite “a challenging commercial environment” with significant operational and shipping disruption as a result of COVID-19

During the financial year, UP also completed the acquisition of Salter Brands from FKA Brands last month. The acquisition is expected to be “significantly” earnings enhancing in FY22.

Unaudited underlying EBITDA also increased by 28.3% to £13.3m, up from £10.4m in 2020.

Unaudited underlying PBT increased by 36.6% to £11.2m, that’s up from £8.2m in the previous year and is ahead of market consensus of £10.8m.

Net bank debt increased by £15.1m to £18.9m, reflecting £17.2m of increased borrowings to fund the acquisition of Salter in July. But this has been offset by strong operating cash flows during the financial year, UP said.

UP reported its FY22 order book for the core business, excluding the effect of the recent Salter acquisition, is ahead of this time last year

Simon Showman, CEO of Ultimate Products, said: “Against the challenging backdrop that COVID-19 continues to present, we are very pleased to have delivered a performance in FY21 that is ahead of the market’s expectations.

“As ever, I am hugely proud of the hard work, dedication and professionalism of the Ultimate Products team.

“As a result of their efforts, our business is emerging from the pandemic with closer customer relationships, a stronger portfolio of products, and in excellent financial and operational shape.”

He added: “In addition, the acquisition of Salter, the UK’s oldest housewares brand, has delivered a step change in the depth and quality of the Group’s brand portfolio, providing further opportunities for future growth both domestically and internationally.

“As a result, the Board remains confident in the long-term prospects for the Group.”