Pottery giant Portmeirion enjoyed a record year in 2021 after revenues hit £106 million.
The Stoke-based company’s latest financial report – for the 12 months to December 31, 2021 – revealed that revenue climbed by more than 21 per cent on 2020’s £87.9 million, and by 14 per cent on 2019’s pre-covid revenue of £92.8 million.
The company – whose brands include Royal Worcester, Spode, Wax Lyrical, Pimpernel and Nambe – also recorded a pre-tax profit of £7.2 million in 2021. This compares to £1.4 million in 2020 and £7.4 million in 2019.
Portmeirion says its efforts to become a more ‘online and digital based business’ have played a key part in the company’s success.
It added that sales from its own websites increased by 16 per cent over 2020 and are now 81 per cent above 2019 levels. As it stands, online sales now represent half of total sales in the company’s key UK and US markets.
Portmeirion chief executive Mike Raybould said: “2021 was a record sales year for the group, driven by our strategy of reaching a wider potential customer base through developing our online sales channels, building new geographical markets and new product launches within our strong family of brands.
“We were pleased to see growth over 2020 and 2019 pre covid-19 levels in our UK and US core markets. We experienced a strong seasonal Christmas trading period, particularly in the US market where new product launches and our ability to handle drop ship order fulfilment enabled good levels of growth.
“We have continued our transformation to a more online and digital based business and were delighted to see 16 per cent sales growth in our own branded websites despite high street retail stores reopening.”
He added: “Our brands are known and loved around the world. There is a huge opportunity to reach more potential customers through online channels including our own branded websites.
“The benefit of building an increasingly direct relationship with the end consumer allows us to continue to communicate after the first purchase, building a long term relationship with the customer.”
Over the next 12 months, Portmeirion wants to continue to build its online sales and has recently constructed a large mezzanine floor extension at its London Road factory to support the growth.
Bosses say the investments made in 2021 will help to increase production output and productivity in 2022 which “should provide a solid foundation for future progress.”
They added that they remain confident for the next 12 months – despite the current economic challenges.
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Mr Raybould said: “We are pleased with the progress we have made in 2021 – not only navigating the ongoing challenges of covid-19 as evidenced by our record sales performance but also our continued track record on execution of our long term strategy.
“We remain cognisant of ongoing economic uncertainty, in particular the challenges to the consumer of the rising costs of living including energy and fuel costs, and the ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine.
“Likewise that it will take time for global supply chains and container freight costs to stabilise following covid-19 and return to some sort of normality.
“We have long term energy contracts in place until early 2024 that will protect the business in the short term from increased energy costs but are watchful that consumers around the world will require a period of adjustment to the inflationary pressures in everyday spend.
“However, we believe our investments in our brands, digital and online presence and increasingly diversified sales channels and geography will enable us to more than offset the afore-mentioned challenges and continue to grow in 2022 and over the coming years.”