Creightons announces return to profit despite one of 'most challenging' years in its history
The firm has reported a pre-tax profit of £302,000 for the six months ending 30 September 2023, up from a loss of £359,000 the year prior.
Creightons said it has responded “proactively” to the unprecedented challenges facing the business.
The firm’s chairman, William O McIlroy, said in a statement: “This [year] represented among the most challenging trading years ever faced by the Group. Since November 2022 the Group faced significant supply chain and inflationary pressures. These pressures contributed to higher input and overhead costs and reduced profitability.
“The Branded division has been challenged in the current year. There has been a significant decline in a key export market which has suffered a sharp economic downturn. We anticipate this will start to recover during the second half as orders are starting to flow through again.”
Sales for the firm fell to £27.6 million for the six months ending in September, down from £29.7 million in the same period the year prior.
The company’s private label division saw an increase in sales of 9.8 per cent to £12.3 million, while its contract division saw a decline in sales of 37.1 per cent to £4.9 million.
In July, the company said that it was embarking upon a six-point programme designed to restore margins and reduce costs, including a one shift policy aiming to reduce energy costs at its Peterborough and Devonshire sites. It also brought picking and packaging of finished goods in house.
Mr McIlroy said he believed the margin recovery and “proactive” cost reduction measures taken by the firm would continue to deliver an improved performance in the second half of the year.