Pottery firm Portmeirion expects full-year revenue for 2020 to be ‘ahead of expectations’ at around £87 million.
In a trading update to the stock exchange, the Stoke-based company revealed that revenue up to 31 December 2020, will be at least six per cent ahead of market expectations following a strong second half and seasonal trading performance.
The firm – which owns brands including Spode, Royal Worcester, Wax Lyrical, Nambe and Pimpernel – says 2020 revenue will be at least £87 million, which is down from £92.8 million in 2019.
The group said that sales were impacted by the multiple lockdown-related closures of stores in ‘key retail markets’ with second half sales down seven per cent on the same period in 2019.
This compares favourably to the 20 per cent reduction in the first half of the year.
Online sales, however, have performed strongly in the last six months and Portmeirion estimates that 47 per cent of its total UK and US sales are now made through its online channels – this is up from 30 per cent in 2019.
The company expects to see continued growth in online sales in 2021.
Chief executive Mike Raybould said: “Although 2020 has been a challenging year and our sales markets have been significantly impacted by Covid-19, we are hugely encouraged by the resilience of our brands and most recently our strong seasonal sales performance.
“We have taken a long term view through 2020 and increased investment spend behind our key strategic objectives; in particular online sales channel development and the efficiency and capabilities of our factories and warehouses. We believe this will accelerate growth in future years.
“We have an exciting pipeline of new products to launch around the world in 2021 which we expect will contribute to sales growth across our key sales markets.”
Mr Raybould added: “There is no doubt that Covid-19 and the restrictions imposed by government lockdowns will continue to bring challenges through 2021. However our operations remain open and our proven international brand strength, growing online presence and strong balance sheet provide a platform for us to grow across our key sales markets.
“We remain confident in our strategic plan, the strength of our brands and the long term opportunities to grow our business.”
In September, Portmeirion announced plans to invest more than £1 million upgrading machinery and software at its London Road factory as part of efforts to ‘provide additional throughput and efficiency.’