Floorcoverings manufacturer reports strong UK recovery

Floorcovering manufacturer Airea plc has reported strong UK sales for the first half of the year as home sales recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

According to its interim report for the six months ended 30th June 2022, revenue for the period was £8.6m, £1.2m above the prior year (2021: £7.4m). In the UK, sales were 7.5% ahead of the prior six-month comparative period as home sales recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Export sales were up 45.5% compared to the comparative period, despite the recovery to date export sales are 26% down on the pre-pandemic levels with the general economic environment continuing to impact trading overseas.

The operating profit was £756,000 (2021: £574,000). Excluding inventory absorption impacts, underlying product margins have come under some pressure versus prior year due to significant raw material inflation.

Commenting on the results and outlook, Martin Toogood, Chairman, said: “The six months ended 30th June 2022 continued to see recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had suppressed activity in our key markets. H1 delivered improved sales and operating profit versus the prior year as demand in both our home and export markets continued to recover.

“We remain focused on our operational and supply chain processes, which enable us to navigate the challenges from the current economic environment and the Ukrainian conflict both of which continue to put a strain on the availability of labour and raw materials.

“The launches of our new products into the market continues with a noted increase in the sales of these products and the continuing specification of our product in the medium and premium sectors.

“The development of our product ranges continues with the launches of new products and the refresh of existing products planned for the second half of the year. Our order book and sales of new products continue to grow as we strengthen our portfolio of products.

“Recovery of our UK market has been pleasing with recovery in export sales expected to continue, however it must be noted that the Ukrainian conflict has adversely impacted some of our key export markets.

“We have experienced unprecedented pressure on costs over the last 18 months and we have taken numerous actions to mitigate the impact on profitability. Those cost pressures and managing them will continue to be challenging over the remainder of this year and into the future.”

The company added that the selection process for its new CEO continues, but has made ‘good progress’ and expects to be in a position to make an announcement in the coming months.

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