Revenues pass £241m at stairlift manufacturer

Acorn Stairlifts, a Yorkshire-based manufacturer and retailer of home stairlifts, has reported another successful year, with group revenue up by 7.4% to £241.1m.

The firm’s newly published annual report and financial statement is for the year ended September 30 2019, so does not include the impact of this year’s pandemic or Brexit.

But company directors say they are confident the business can overcome both challenges.

As well as the increased turnover, Acorn’s operating profit rose to £27.7m, up from £22.2m the previous year.

The business – founded as a one-man operation in Bradford in 1992 – now employs 1,588 people worldwide, up by 52 on the previous year.

More than 500 work at or from its head office and factory on the Millennium Business Park in Steeton, near Keighley.

Latest figures show export sales of Acorn’s British-made stairlifts now account for 71.5% of its total turnover as overseas markets continue to expand.

Joanne Richardson

The company exports to around 80 countries worldwide and has wholly-owned subsidiaries operating in North America, Canada, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

As part of the essential medical and social care supply chain, Acorn has operated throughout the pandemic.

To prepare for Brexit, the business says it has taken positive steps to strengthen and protect its supply routes into and out of Europe, including increasing stock levels within mainland Europe.

And it notes that about 85% of its total revenue comes from within the UK or other non-EU countries.

Acorn’s Group finance director, Joanne Richardson, said: “Our latest results show continued sales growth both in the UK and our overseas markets.

“Improved operational efficiencies have positively impacted the overall result, maintaining our market leading position.

“The Covid-19 pandemic emerged after this results period and the business has had to adapt during this challenging time. However, we expect the effects to be short-term.”