Portmeirion Group has reported a ninth consecutive year of record revenue and a record profit of £8.8 million, an increase of 13 per cent, before taxation - for the year ending December 31, 2017.
Strong progress on growth and diversification in export markets, the completed integration of the Wax Lyrical business, including the launch of more than 200 home fragrance products under the existing Portmeirion Group brands; and the strengthening of the management team are all operational factors that have aided in the growth.
“Our core values of innovation, targeted product development and operational excellence remain unchanged, and we are pleased to report on the successful integration of the Wax Lyrical home fragrance business into the Group,” says Dick Steelite, non-executive chairman.
According to Dick, trading in the first two months of the current year, 2018, is ahead of the comparative period in 2018, with the “outlook for 2018 positive”.
The UK has become the Group’s largest market following the acquisition of Wax Lyrical, and the Group’s expanded product offering and encouraging performance of some of its ranges such as the growing Royal Worcester Wrendale Designs collection and the new Sara Miller London Portmeirion line provides optimism in this market.
The US, the Group’s second largest market, reported an increase in revenue of 3.9 per cent in translated figures. Lawrence Bryan, chief executive says: “We remain confident about the prospects in the USA, with the Group’s sales seeing double digit growth in the second half of the year, including the important Thanksgiving and Christmas period, recovering from a disappointing first half.”
Sales into South Korea fell by 32.1 per cent in 2017. “This market continues to prove challenging and we are working closely with our exclusive distributor in South Korea to diversify our product portfolio and target new customers in order to rebuild sales,” adds Lawrence.
Sales to the rest of the world showed the most significant growth during the year, increasing by 54.4 per cent to £24.2 million (2016: £15.7 million). Growing sales into Europe and some Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Taiwan has reduced the Group’s reliance on sales in its three major markets and has been aided by sales of home fragrance product into existing distribution channels.
Online sales continued to grow during the year, with a strong second half sales growth of over 13 per cent.
“We have reported revenue growth in our core UK and USA markets, but also a decrease in South Korea which is going through a period of rebuilding. However, the Group’s other export markets showed excellent growth with sales to ‘rest of the world’ up 54.4 per cent over 2016. Our online sales remains an area of focus for 2018.”
The management team has been significantly strengthened during the year. Mike Raybould joined in May 2017 as Group Finance Director, Mick Knapper was promoted to Operations Director, Moira MacDonald was promoted to Company Secretary and Andrew Andrea was appointed as a Non-executive Director.
“We are delighted with these promotions and appointments, the business is now benefitting from the fresh perspective that such changes bring.”
Lawrence concludes: “Our strategy and core values remain unchanged - we believe in profitable sales growth, introducing new products, investing in our brands, enhancing our operational capabilities and supporting this with complementary strategic acquisitions. We remain confidence in our ability to create shareholder value in the short, medium and long term.”