Sales remain strong at furnishings fabrics group

The Designers Guild Group, which designs, wholesales and retails furnishings fabrics, wallcoverings, upholstery, beds and home accessories, has reported a decline in sales.

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 31 March 2023, total sales fell 5.3% to £41.2m from £43.5m in 2022.

Pre-tax losses resulted at £2m, down from its profit of £173,000 recorded the previous year.

UK sales during the period were down 9.3% to £13.5m from £14.9m, while sales in Europe declined 12.3% to £17.8m from £20.3m. Outside the EU, revenues rose 19.5% to £9.8m from £8.2m.

Designers Guild, which operates two London based flagship retail stores as well as wholesale accounts in over 55 markets globally, said that continued impacts relating to Covid and Brexit affected performance during the period.

“The market generally, whilst growing, did not see a return to pre-pandemic levels of business. This is very much the focus of the business moving forwards combining growth with strong control of the cost base.

“The economic climate in the UK and Europe continues to be difficult with supply led inflation and interest rates both high. The Ukraine war continues to cause consumer caution particularly in Northern Europe and the UK housing market continues to be depressed.”

Looking ahead, the group said: “As we look forward to the forthcoming year, we are seeing far less disruption to our EU business and the strategies actioned to offset the Brexit related cost increase coming through.

“This combined with our new collection launches and new licensing arrangements with Ralph Lauren and English Heritage makes us extremely optimistic for good levels of growth moving forward with a return to pre-pandemic levels imminent.”

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