Victoria steadies the ship with “satisfactory” performance

AFTER a troubled period which included a bitter power struggle amongst its top executives, carpet maker Victoria appears to have stabilised.

In its half year results for the period ending September 28, which were announced this morning, it declared a profit before tax and exceptional items of £610,000, compared to the £70,000 loss in the corresponding period last year.

And while group revenue decreased by 4.1% from £35.99m to £34.53m, the firm has managed to reduce its debts by a further £4.54m, from the year end, to £2.97m.

Victoria Carpets operates Westwood Yarns, in Holmfirth.

Executive chairman Geoff Wilding said: “The group’s trading performance in the first half of the current financial year has been satisfactory.

“A considerable amount of work has been done to remove unnecessary cost from the business and improve the group’s working capital position, although more remains to be done before the group starts to deliver acceptable results.
“The board believes it has an appropriate strategy to further improve the group’s performance and is focused on its execution.”
Victoria says it is now focusing on selling product at an acceptable margin, rather than seeking sales at any cost. It suggests this will impact top line sales but, in time, should deliver improved profits to the group.
Canadian firm Colin Campbell & Sons is now wholly-owned, having previously been a 50% associated undertaking. This has been achieved at no cash cost to Victoria.
And new managing director has been appointed in Australia. He is charged with delivering significant improvements to the struggling Australian subsidiary.
Victoria also said it has withdrawn from its negotiations with the local council to sell its sports ground in Kidderminster and is now actively pursuing other opportunities to realise value for shareholders in respect of this asset.

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