Share buy back deal at Ultimate Products proposed

Ultimate Products' Andrew Gossage and Simon Showman

The founder, largest shareholder and senior management of Ultimate Products want to start a share buyback programme.

The board told the stock market this morning it is seeking the authority at a specially convened shareholders meeting in May to make market purchases of its own shares of up to 10% of the Company’s issued ordinary share capital.

Shares are currently trading at 147p, down from a high of 165p before Christmas 2023, but up on a low of 115p in November of 2023.

The announcement comes on the back of a half-year profits slightly increase even as  revenues dipped 4% to £84.2m (H1 2023: £87.6m).

The Oldham-based company told the stock market this morning that a reduced orders from supermarkets due to overstocking of products were offset by “exceptionally strong demand” for energy efficient air fryers, and that sales overseas were better than in the UK.

Profit before tax up was 2% to £9.5m (H1 2023: £9.3m), as lower net debt reduced finance expenses also benefited the company.

However, overall sales in the UK were down 7% (£4.4m). The peak in air fryer sales was mainly a UK phenomenon, and the fall in overall UK sales is primarily due to the fall in air fryer sales through online and supermarket channels.

International sales were up 4%. Excluding German supermarkets, other international sales were up 62% (£8.1m), driven by new customers in France following the opening of a new European showroom in Paris, and through growth with international discounters. 

Commenting on the results, Andrew Gossage, the new Chief Executive of Ultimate Products, said: “This has been another period of resilient performance for Ultimate Products. Macro conditions remain challenging, but our strategy of providing beautiful products at mass-market prices to UK and European households is continuing to stand us in good stead. 

“We are now seeing the gradual resumption of normal ordering patterns from our customers after the overstocking issues that were brought about by the pandemic, and we have a range of initiatives underway to improve operational efficiencies and deepen our customer relationships. As a result, we continue to trade in line with market expectations.”

Gossage has taken over as CEO from founder Simon Showman, who takes over the role of commercial director.

Ultimate Products sells to over 300 retailers across 38 countries, and specialises in five product categories: Small Domestic Appliances; Housewares; Laundry; Audio; and Heating and Cooling. Its brands include Progress (cookware and bakeware), Kleeneze (laundry and floorcare), Petra (small domestic appliances) and Intempo (audio).

Founded in 1997, Ultimate Products employs over 370 staff, and has an office and showroom in Guangzhou, China and in Paris, France.

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