Furniture manufacturer continues to grow contract division

Fully assembled furniture manufacturer Welcome Furniture has reported a slight decline in sales as well as a loss, while its contract division continued to deliver strong growth.

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 31 March 2023, total sales were down 5% to £20.7m from £21.8m in 2022.

Pre-tax losses resulted at £23,000, down from its profit of £445,000 recorded the previous year.

Stated within its report, the company said: “The performance for the period was mixed but this was not entirely unexpected with retail sales experiencing a fall in year-on-year items whilst the contract business continued to develop due to the strength of relationships with partner customers.

“The economy faced many challenges throughout the trading period. These impacted Welcome across the supply chain and pricing with significant increases in raw material, labour and energy costs.

“Some raw material costs rose 20-25% with imported containerised goods experiencing a ten-fold increase in transport costs for a period. To mitigate the impact, the Directors were able to utilise stock holdings to a degree.

“Welcome’s team also worked closely with suppliers throughout the year to minimise significant pricing shocks which could have severely and negatively affected consumer confidence in the company’s product offering.”

Specifically on its contract division, Welcome saw revenues rise 50% year-on-year and is optimistic of future growth too. “Midway through the period to March 2024 the Welcome team have already matched the reported result for the year ending 31 March 2023 with committed projects underway.

“With a comprehensive order book well into 2025 and beyond, there is a consensus amongst Welcome’s board that the company will continue to grow to become the UK manufacturer of choice in the contract furniture market.”

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