Safestyle overcomes challenges but worries about consumer confidence

Safestyle is trying to balance a strong order book and a need to “ramp up” its capacity with the uncertainty it has about the sustainability of customer demand.

The Bradford-based windows and doors company has enjoyed a 25% increase in orders in June-August, which has required it to take on more staff.

It has admitted to having “some operational challenges linked to the ramp up in capacity” alongisde challenges caused by the backlog of services and warranty work and temporary disruption to its supply chain.

But Safestyle chief executive Mike Gallacher is optimistic that the company has been able to make progress on its strategic aims during the first half of 2020 which included modernising the brand and professionalising its sales force.

He said: “It is not yet clear if the recent strong trading performance is sustainable in light of the current economic environment and any uncertainty is likely to impact consumer confidence.

“However our strong order book, our position as a leading national value brand and the progress made on modernising the business leaves us well positioned to sustain our momentum as we move into 2021.”

Safestyle’s financial performance for the six months to June, published today, show pre-tax losses more than doubled to £5.6m while revenues shrunk 35% to £42.1m.

It said that turnover and profitability were ahead of 2019 prior to lockdown, and it had increased its market share in the first quarter.

Safestyle had raised £8.2m in a share placing in April to strengthen its balance sheet and investors have been reassured, with its share price – which fell 75% from February to April – recovering in recent weeks to its pre-lockdown price.