Pottery manufacturer Churchill China is enjoying a ‘healthy order book’ as it continues to bounce back from the pandemic.
Over the past six weeks, the Sandyford-based company has seen a recovery in UK sales following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions around hospitality, while trading in Europe and some of the company’s other export markets have also improved.
But bosses say that they ‘remain mindful’ of the potential impact any further restrictions could have on the business over the course of the rest of the year.
During today’s AGM, Churchill China chairman Alan McWalter said: “I would like to update you on the positive progress our business has made since our 2020 preliminary results announcement on 19 April, 2021.
“In our announcement we advised that, following a quiet first quarter given Covid-related market constraints, we were beginning to see growing evidence of a recovery in hospitality activity and sales as these restrictions were relaxed
“I am pleased to report that this increased activity has continued over the following six weeks and we now enjoy a healthy order book.
“This improvement has been most evident in the UK, but we have also been encouraged by stronger trading in Europe and other export markets.
“We believe our decision to maintain operating levels will stand us in good stead and that the level of momentum within the business will allow us to meet our target performance levels both in the short and longer term.”
Mr McWalter added: “Whilst the company is currently trading in line with the board’s expectations, we remain mindful of the potential for further impact on our revenues and operations from future market restrictions, and therefore continue to maintain operating flexibility and a sound financial base.”
Revenue fell by 46 per cent from £67.5 million in 2019 to £36.4 million, while pre-tax profit dropped to just £91,000 from £11.2 million in 2019.
The company attributed the results to the forced closures of bars, cafes and restaurants during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.