A personal care and beauty products manufacturer in Peterborough has seen its turnover fall by just 0.7 per cent despite a near melting away of £14 million worth of sales of Covid-hygiene products.
But the company has also warned that inflation, supply difficulties and energy cost hikes meant the last six months of a financial year, which was 'transformational’ for the business, were extremely challenging and the problems were likely to continue.
Creightons, based in Lincoln Road, Werrington, where it employs about 340 people, says that £14.6 million sales of Covid19 hygiene products sales in its financial year to the end of March 2021 dropped to £300,000 for the 12 months to the end of last March.
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But directors say that they successfully replaced those ‘one off’ hygiene sales generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with growth across each of the branded, private label and contract manufacturing business units.
It meant the revenue from Creightons’ core business grew by 21.8 per cent – up £10.3 million to £57.3 million compared to £47 million in the previous year.
Add in the hygiene loss and the impact of acquisitions, total revenue fell by only 0.7 per cent to £61.2 million compared to £61.6 million in the previous year.
Profits after tax for the year fell by £1.2 million to £3.1 million compared to £4.3 million in 2021.
The company has also announced that it will not be paying a final dividend to shareholders this year.
William McIlroy, chairman of Creightons Plc, said: “The group has successfully maintained revenue during the year.
“We have replaced the one-off hygiene sales in the previous year and have delivered growth across all areas of the core business.
“We have completed two business acquisitions which leave us well placed to continue to grow the branded business of the group.
“We will continue to respond proactively to the challenging market conditions but remain open to further business opportunities.”
Bernard Johnson, managing director, said: “The team across the group has performed exceptionally well in the face of challenges presented by Covid-19 and the global supply chain and inflationary pressures.
"We will continue to work closely with our customers while robustly embarking on a programme of overhead cost reduction and improving manufacturing efficiencies.”
The figures show that Creightons our own branded sales (excluding hygiene products) grew by 37.7 per cent, sales of its retailer own label products increased by 9.5 per cent, total overseas sales rose by 45.6 per cent to £10 million compared to £6.9 million in 2021.
It also successfully completed the acquisition of Emma Hardie and Brodie & Stone with combined sales from its acquisitions during the year amounted to £3.6 million with revenue of £2.3 million from Emma Hardie from July 28, 2021 and £1.3 million from Brodie and Stone from September 24, 2021.
Looking ahead, the company says it is dealing with unprecedented increases in product and energy prices together with significant disruption in the global supply chain.
These pressures have seen delayed deliveries from suppliers, higher input, energy and overhead costs.
The company states: “These pressures are expected to continue.
"We will continue to be proactive in our response to these challenges and in particular we will seek out new opportunities and endeavour to
mitigate any price increases through price recovery, product reengineering, alternative sourcing and other cost control measures.
It adds: “This has been a transformational year for the Group with the successful acquisition of two brand-based companies strengthening our branded offering and giving a firm foothold in premium skincare which we can build on very quickly given our global distribution, development and manufacturing capabilities.
“However, the last six months of the financial year have been extremely challenging.
"Accordingly, we have embarked on a programme of overhead cost reduction and of improving manufacturing efficiencies which should significantly reduce operational costs by the end of the year ended March 31, 2023, a lot of which will be delivered and be adding to the bottom line by the end of September 2022.”