Homewares firm slips into the red after reporting ‘significant challenges’

Portmeirion, the Stoke-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of ceramic homewares, has slipped into the red, according to results for the six months to June 30.

The firm made a loss of £2.7m during the period, compared to a profit of £500,000 last year. Revenue also dropped from £34.9m in 2019 to £32m this year.

Portmeirion says it expects to return to profitability in the second half of 2020 as it sees an improvement in trading conditions leading up to the important Christmas period.

The company, which makes homewares under the Portmeirion, Spode, Royal Worcester, Pimpernel, Wax Lyrical and Nambé brands says it online sales almost doubled during the first half of the year in its core UK and US markets.

Mike Raybould, chief executive, said: “Covid-19 has clearly created significant challenges for our Group like many others in the first half of 2020. However, we are proud of the way in which the business and our employees have reacted robustly and with great agility.

“Our strong consumer homeware brands have shown remarkable resilience in our key sales markets and it is encouraging to see such material growth in our online sales channels which has mitigated some of the impact of retail shutdowns. We have continued to invest in our strategy; in enhanced digital capabilities, online sales penetration and in making our operations more efficient.

“Pleasingly, our two UK factories have almost returned to pre Covid-19 operating levels and I would like to thank all our employees around the world for their commitment and tenacity in keeping our business operating during these difficult times.

2We have continued to see an improving trend in sales from June in H1 into the last three months but are cognisant that with our important trading period ahead there remains much uncertainty around the world due to Covid-19. Nevertheless, we anticipate returning to profitability in the second half and remain confident that the actions taken and investment made will bear fruit and create value for our shareholders. Portmeirion is well positioned over the medium to long term and we are positive that we can continue to exploit the accelerating trends of online shopping and the demand for homeware products.”