Sales drop at industrial equipment provider as customers delay or cut spending

Baildon-based industrial equipment supplier, HC Slingsby, has reported a dip in its sales ahead of its Annual General Meeting later this morning.

Group sales were 5% lower in the three months to 31 March 2024 compared with the corresponding period in 2023.

This decline in sales and costs associated with the retirement of Dominic Slingsby of £200,000 led to an unaudited loss before tax of £0.14m compared with an unaudited profit before tax of £0.12m in the same period in the prior year.

Group sales in the five months to 31 May 2024 were 4% lower when compared to the same period in the prior financial year, and sales in May 2024 were 12% down on that achieved in May 2023.

HC Slingsby’s update states: “The directors consider that the lower level of sales is due to customers reducing or deferring spending following cost increases caused by factors such as the increase in the minimum wage, lower sales of seasonal products and uncertainty caused by the General Election.

“The market remains competitive and the group remains cautious regarding the outlook for the remainder of the financial year.

“This is particularly the case given the recent lower level of order intake, the uncertainty caused by the General Election and the risk that the UK economy could re-enter recession as unemployment rises.

“The impact that these factors will have on demand going forward is difficult to forecast.”

HC Slingsby adds that it had unaudited net cash of approximately £0.23m as at 31 May 2024 compared to £0.15m as at 31 May 2023 and £0.21m as at 31 December 2023.

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