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Textiles specialist implements cost saving measures to absorb challenges

Plumbs, a specialist in producing made-to-measure loose furniture covers, curtains and reupholstery, has reported a growth in sales but was less than previously expected.

According to the latest filed accounts ended 31 December 2022, total sales rose 9.6% to £24.9m from £22.7m in 2021.

Pre-tax losses resulted at £486,000, down from its profit of £36,000 recorded the previous year. Total income for the year stood at £1.5m, improving from £903,000.

Stated within its report, the company said that it entered the year with an order book value of £6m, around 40% higher than recent years. Although the first quarter went to plan, due to the swift changes in the economy as a result of the Ukraine war and increasing costs coupled with labour shortages, this proved a challenging period for the business as product lead times also rose.

“The changes in the economy and the decrease in consumer confidence led to falling sales and the excess order book being eaten into, thus in the third quarter significant cost savings of around £900,000 per annum were achieved, mainly through the reductions in the workforce,” the company said.

“These reductions continued into 2023 when the Southampton production facility was closed. Newly introduced site based profit and loss reporting identified Southampton as a poor performing production resource and therefore it was a resource that needed to be closed.

“Whilst the outcome for the year is disappointing, the Directors are confident that the measures taken have reduced the cost base significantly and new product innovation within the curtains department in particular will drive sales in 2023 and lead to an improved outcome.”

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