As announced by Sam Williams (Senior business writer from the Eastern Daily Press) on 22 Sep.
A continued focus on efficiency has helped home improvements firm Anglian Group to a dramatic uplift in profits despite a fall in sales.
Accounts for the year to March 27 showed pre-tax profits at the Norwich-based business hit £11.3m, up from £6.2m the previous year, while turnover dipped by £15.5m to £209.2m.
The improved profitability follows a period of major restructuring at the company, one of the country’s leading suppliers of windows and conservatories.
In 2008/09 Anglian announced £30m of cost savings in a year in which the firm reported a £7m operating loss after being hit by falling demand in the economic downturn.
The savings have seen the number of staff employed in the business fall from 3,030 in 2008/09 to 2,056 last year, but the company said the number had remained “stable” over the past 12 to 18 months.
Peter Mottershead, group chief executive, said the company was now focused on generating profits to plough back into improvements in the business.
The firm, which trades as Anglian Home Improvements, has begun sponsorship of several prime time television programmes and has invested in new machinery over the past 12 months.
New products have been launched, including a verandah and solar panels.
Mr Mottershead said the company had also funded a new depot in Kent to help grow trade in the south east region, with two further depots planned in other regions in the coming months.
Mr Mottershead said: “We have to take the strengths we have and invest in the business ready for when the upturn comes.
“We have continued to invest in the brand and products.
“We are putting the building blocks in place so that when the upturn comes we are in a good position for revenue growth and further growth in profits.”
The company, one of East Anglia’s largest manufacturers, was founded in 1966 as a windows supplier but diversified into conservatories and other home improvement products in 1985. About 1,000 of its staff are based in Norwich.
Mr Mottershead said trade so far in the 2010/11 year was ahead of last year but warned that uncertainty remained, particularly ahead of the government’s October spending review, which he warned could impact on consumer spending.