Market uncertainty hits Airea results

Market uncertainty hits Airea results

Market uncertainty has affected the interim results for Ossett-based specialist flooring business Airea, despite growth in its order book and from international sales.

The listed company reported revenue of £8.9m for the six months to 30 June 2019, compared to £9.1m in the same period of 2018.

Pre-tax profit was £945,000, down from £1.32m, with operating profit reducing to £1.09m from £1.48m.

During the period, Airea invested in the infrastructure of the business with new on-site storage facilities and a new finance and operating system to be put in place by the fourth quarter.

In his statement accompanying the results, Airea chairman Martin Toogood said "Despite strong growth in the order book and increased sales internationally, revenue and operating profit are below the corresponding period driven by the uncertainty in the market and the economic environment. This affected the timing of customer call offs within the order book and the group's decision to increase inventory to prepare for potential Brexit challenges, had the UK left the EU on 31 March 2019, had a significant financial impact on operating profit and cash flow.

"Although disappointed with the sales performance during the last six weeks of the first half we are pleased by the progress made during the period improving the foundations of the Group. Sales growth will continue to be challenging given the uncertainty that remains whilst awaiting the outcome of Brexit negotiations; however, as a UK manufacturer with a strong position in the UK and internationally and an ever increasing product portfolio, we are well placed to moderate these risks and take advantage of growth opportunities as they arise."