“More opportunity than risk in new normal” says buoyant Pittards as sales rise
Put simply, Pittards is back to trading positively. After a tough pandemic, its order book’s improving and its half-year performance to the end of June saw continued revenue and profitability growth, the leather goods specialist said in a results release on Wednesday.
“We are seeing gathering momentum in the group's recovery”, an upbeat chairman Stephen Yapp said, while adding: “We are looking forward to the next phase of profitable growth and reporting continued progress at the full year”.
Part of that “positivity” was seeing H1 group revenues up 46% to £9.7 million. Citing lockdowns and Brexit affecting logistics, it noted growth accelerated in the UK market, with exports now down from 89% in 2019 to 84%.
Profitability and cash flow were in line with expectations and ahead of the second half of 2020. Pre-tax profit came in at £0.3 million compared to a loss of £2.3 million in the year-ago period. EBITDA was also positive (+£0.8 million) compared to a negative £1.3m last time.
Gross margin bounced to 28% from 17%, and that sales order book is at its highest level for two years.
A continually evolving business model was underpinned by an £0.8m investment in new product equipment “to meet increasing demand”. And the group's entry into several new markets is also “showing positive returns”, it noted.
Commenting on its outlook for the full year, CEO Reg Hankey added: "There have been clear signs of a continued recovery in sales since the half year, evidenced by a progressively improving order book. We continue to see more opportunity than risk in the ‘new normal’ that is emerging from the pandemic.
“As we head towards the end of the year we can build on our existing, agile, cash generative business model that is able to sustain a programme of modest investment as well as consistent returns for shareholders.”
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