Listed textiles wholesaler and retailer endures another tough year

Leeds Group, a wholesaler of fabrics and haberdasher, has reported revenues from continuing operations of  £33m (2020: £35m) in its final results for the year to 31 May 2021.

The company made a pre-tax loss of £508,000 (2020: pre-tax loss of £2m), while the group’s operating loss from continuing activities was £280,000 (2020: loss £1.75m).

The Group, headquartered in Drighlington, Bradford, conducts its work through a German trading subsidiary Hemmers/Itex Textil Import Export GmbH and Stoff-Ideen-KMR GmbH, a subsidiary of Hemmers also based in Germany.

Leeds Group says it is affected by ongoing global supply chain problems but is managing delays in deliveries effectively through good stock management.

It adds any increased costs associated with container shipments from the Far East are being recovered through an increase in sales prices.

Leeds Group notes it has seen little impact from Brexit, as its business is conducted entirely by subsidiaries incorporated in Germany, and their exports to the UK account for only about 4% of Group revenue.

The business says there is always a threat of reduced market demand, and it continues to work to combat this by exploring other markets both domestically and internationally and looking at expanding its product ranges.

Chairman Jan Holmstrom acknowledged it has been another difficult year for the Group due to the pandemic.

He added: “In trading updates on 17 February 2021 and 18 May 2021, we explained that since the half year end, there had been further countrywide restrictions imposed by the German government which had adversely affected trading activity in the second half of the financial year.

“Both Hemmers-Itex Textil Import Export GmbH (Hemmers) and Stoff-Ideen-KMR GmbH (KMR) businesses have been affected by the countrywide lockdowns imposed by the German government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and further Government-imposed restrictions placed on retail shops thereafter.

“Hemmer’s wholesale business was also affected by lockdowns in its export markets though trading continued on a reduced basis.

“All KMR’s retail shops were fully closed during the country-wide lockdowns which lasted until early March 2021 with some shops remaining closed until the end of May 2021 due to localised lockdowns.

“The effect of the KMR shop closures were partly mitigated by actions taken by management and by Government financial aid.

“Even though the lockdown has now been lifted, the pandemic is still having an impact in the global marketplace, with sales levels for both Hemmers and KMR in the first quarter of the new financial year lower than previous years but in line with expectations.”