You beauty! Creightons hoists revenue and profits
Peterborough consumer goods manufacturer Creightons plc hoisted revenues seven per cent to £16.7 million and pre-tax profits 21 per cent to £956k in the six months to September 30.
First listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1987, the company makes and markets personal care and beauty products for the consumer and trade sector.
The buoyant performance enabled the group to pay a final dividend of 0.23p per ordinary share in August having paid no dividend in 2016. An interim dividend of 0.15p per ordinary share will be paid in December.
Executive chairman William McIlroy hailed increased sales and tightly controlled costs as the driver of the profits surge.
He said group sales were £16.734 million for the six months – up 7.3 per cent year-on-year.
“This has been achieved in conjunction with an order intake during the period which is 13.5 per cent up on the same period last year. Sales have increased for the period through growth with key existing customers and by bringing on new customers.
“Sales of our branded products for the first six months have exceeded group growth at 12 per cent through existing customers, new export markets and ongoing development of licenced brands.
“During the period we have focused on winning and extending business with key UK retailers which are growing their personal care and beauty market share as well as a realignment of key contract accounts based on margin performance.”
Gross margin was 42.1 per cent and McIlroy said Creightons had continued to benefit from the economies of scale generated by the sales growth in the year to March 2017 and on supplier base consolidation.
He added: “We intend to focus efforts to improve our margins through targeted investment in plant and machinery which will increase production capacity and improve unit cost of manufacture.
“This will be key to our success especially in the current economic climate as we continue to see the trend of consumers in the UK focusing on value. We will continue to manage our overhead cost base and working capital requirements to ensure they are aligned with the anticipated sales levels of the group, whilst retaining the skills necessary to meet growth opportunities as they arise.
“The board and I believe that this half year's sales of £16,734,000 and profit after tax of £724,000 continues to place the group in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise.”