Ultimate Products confident after strong first half

Ultimate Products, the firm behind Russell Hobbs, has posted a rise in half-year sales as it navigated “difficult trading conditions”.

The firm saw revenue increase 36% to £65.8 million in the six months to January 31, while pre-tax profit jumped 48.5% to £5.9 million.

Ultimate Products owns the Beldray brand and holds the licence to sell Russell Hobbs and Salter kitchenware ranges in the UK.

The group said the performance was driven by growth in all four of its divisions – discounters, online, supermarkets and international.

Boss Simon Showman said: “We are delighted with the strong recovery in trading that the business has delivered in the first half of the year.

“These results should be taken as a clear sign of the adaptability and resilience of our business model, especially when viewed against the ongoing difficult trading conditions within the UK general merchandise market.”

Ultimate Products added that it is continuing to asses the implications of a no-deal hard Brexit and the potential impact on sales volumes and profit margins if it led to another material devaluation in sterling.

The collapse in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote hammered retailers, driving up their costs, which have been passed on to already hard-pressed consumers.

The result has been a steady decline in consumer confidence, sagging retail sales and an stalling economy.

But Mr Showman struck an upbeat tone.

“Looking ahead, market conditions in the UK are likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future. However, current trading is comfortably in line with expectations and we remain confident that a relentless focus on our tried and tested strategy will continue to deliver sustainable growth.”

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