Portmeirion Group PLC – the company behind brand names such as Portmeirion, Spode, Royal Worcester, Pimpernel, Wax Lyrical and Nambé – has given an upbeat trading update, reporting an “excellent Christmas seasonal trading period”.
In a statement ahead of announcing the group’s preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2021 on 17 March 2022, the group said they are pleased to report an excellent Christmas seasonal trading period, with very high demand for consumer homeware brands around the world and strong sell-through across key channels. They now expect sales to be at least £104 million or 10% above current consensus market expectation forecasts for FY21. This is 18% above 2020 sales of £87.9 million and 12% ahead of pre-Covid sales of £92.8 million in 2019.
This represents the highest ever level of sales for the group driven by strong progress on strategy in developing new sales channels, particularly online.
As a result, the group expects its profit before tax for FY21 will be at least £7.0 million, an increase of 9% over current consensus market expectations and a multiple increase compared to £1.4 million in 2020.
Chief executive Mike Raybould said he was delighted with the progress the group has made: “Our sales result – approximately 12% above pre-Covid highs – is a real testament to the changes we are driving through our business and the experience and efforts of our teams across the world who continue to navigate the many challenges that Covid still presents. The ongoing execution of our strategy allows us to reach more customers through investing in and developing online channels, launching new product and building-out new markets.
Although our key seasonal sales period came later than usual due to global supply chain disruption affecting availability of stock, it finished very strongly, particularly in the US market. We are becoming an increasingly digital business and the new capabilities we have built to drop ship online orders continue to drive our business forward and should provide further opportunities for strong growth and improve margins in the future.
Each of our core markets of the UK, US and South Korea have grown well in 2021. The measures we took to reduce overstocks and protect our brand in South Korea in 2019/20 have enabled a much more robust year, with strong consumer demand and expectations of further sustainable growth in coming years.
We are mindful of ongoing Covid risks and their potential impact on sales markets, global supply chains and the associated cost inflation, particularly in container shipping. We expect further growth in 2022 and with the current uncertainty will wait to update the market with detail on the outlook for the current financial year at the time of the preliminary results in March. Looking forward we continue to navigate these uncertainties and remain confident in our ability to improve margins over the longer term and grow the business strongly in the future.”