Pegler Yorkshire export growth slows sales decline

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Plumbing and heating manufacturer Pegler Yorkshire remains positive about its position as one of the region’s largest exporters, despite declining sales in 2013.

The business, which is headquartered in Doncaster, saw overall turnover drop three per cent to £146.3m last year.

A sharp drop of 18 per cent in its European sales were partially offset by 3.6 per cent growth in revenue from the Middle East.

The UK remained its dominant market, with a small decline in sales of 1.7 per cent to £103.2m.

Profit before tax for the year grew 9.2 per cent to £7.6m.

Ian Howarth, finance director at Pegler Yorkshire, said continued economic difficulties in the UK and Europe impacted its 2013 performance.

He said: “Clearly the economic conditions in the UK and Europe were still challenging in 2013.

“We’ve made our best efforts to grow our export business, which led to four per cent growth in the rest of the world.

“We’re still one of Yorkshire’s biggest exporters and we’ve maintained profitability.”

Performance in the first half of the current year is “in line with projections”, Mr Howarth said.

Pegler more than doubled its spend on research and development, to £447,000 in 2012 to £1.1m last year.

Phill Jackson, business development and marketing director, said the company has introduced a number of market-leading products. It has also become “wholly vertically integrated” in its brass production technique, responding to upcoming legislative changes that could affect the market. Pegler’s Innovation Centre, which opened last year, is pushing forward its product development.

Mr Jackson said: “We’re positioning Pegler Yorkshire as a real solution for the market place, not just a provider of fittings.”

A redundancy programme cutting 50 jobs will be completed in Q4 this year, in order to make the company as “competitive and profitable” as possible, Mr Howarth said.

“While we do regret any losses of that magnitude, it’s about maintaining the company’s position as an employer of 610 people across Yorkshire,” he added.