Creightons tightens then heightens with full-year profits surge
Exemplary cash management allied to a surge in product sales – notably higher exports – marked an excellent set of full-year preliminary results for Creightons plc, the Peterborough consumer goods manufacturer.
In the year to March 31, revenue increased 8.6 per cent to £47.8 million, operating profit was up 29.4 per cent to £3.8m, leaving a base profit for the year £0.3m higher at £3.2m.
Sales improved in several areas of the business. While contract sales declined by 20.3 per cent, those of retailer own label products increased by 29.8 per cent, own branded returns grew 18.3 per cent and total overseas sales increased by 43.4 per cent to £7.2m.
Management says that the balance sheet remains strong after significant investment in working capital, product development and fixed assets to support organic growth.
The proposed final dividend has been hoisted to 0.50p per ordinary share from 0.40p in 2019.
Creightons says its investment in Far East sourcing is already showing in improved margins.
Chairman William McIlroy said: “The group has continued its recent trend of delivering year-on-year organic sales growth supplemented by the contribution from the acquired brand, delivering continued improvements in operating profit.
“The cash generated by the group’s growth has enabled us to fund investments for the long term future and puts us in an excellent position to manage the risks and take advantage of any opportunities arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Managing director Bernard Johnson added: “The team across the group has performed exceptionally well to cope with challenges and pressures associated with the pandemic.
“They have enabled the group to respond rapidly to the changes; resurrecting and developing new products at pace, scouring the world for components and enabling us to meet the changing demand.
“The strong financial position of the group has allowed it to fund these changes, whilst supporting some customers through a difficult period. We are glad to say that the team has continued to grow and develop and we have lost no customers.”