11th November 2011
AGA RANGEMASTER GROUP PLC ("AGA RANGEMASTER")
INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
MARKETS REMAIN CHALLENGING - STRONG COMMERCIAL PLANS PROVIDING RESILIENCE
AGA Rangemaster, the specialist in range cookers and kitchen living, today issues an interim management statement for the period from 1st July 2011 to 10th November 2011.
We have seen the expected seasonal pick up in activity during the key autumn sales period although orders are currently running slightly below last year's seasonal peak levels. The benefits of operational reorganisations are being delivered, notably for AGA Marvel in North America. Group revenues are trending - as at the half year - to be slightly below last year's £259 million. Profit before non-recurring items and tax is expected to be up excluding last year's pension curtailment gains. Net cash balances are expected to be close to last year's £35 million.
The progress achieved with new product development and the integration of the businesses ensures we remain well positioned for when economic conditions stabilise.
Operational Review : Our Brands
Rangemaster remains the principal contributor to the Group's performance. Systematic product enhancements and range extensions have brought Rangemaster over half the UK range cooker market by value. Revenues are running below last year with European markets slowing in recent weeks. Selling prices will rise at the start of 2012 to reflect input cost increases this year.
The new platform of AGA Total Control launched in May is performing well and now accounts for one in every three AGA cookers ordered. An AGA which is "on when you need it and off when you don't" is attracting a wider audience and the marketing drive for it is continuing strongly in the UK and will move shortly into international markets. While sales of cast iron cookers overall will be down this year, the outlook is encouraging as we increase emphasis on efficient sales processes that reflect the new, simplified and economical ranges we have developed.
In Ireland, sales of our stoves are at record levels, most notably of our new boiler stoves made in Waterford.
In North America the fully integrated AGA Marvel offering of hot and cold products led by the glass door refrigerator which is designed for wine, beverages and fresh produce, is trading profitability.
Fired Earth has strengthened margins and losses have fallen on turnover down year-on-year. Grange, with an outstanding new catalogue driving sales increases and with the introduction of computer technology to assist customers in product specification soon to be introduced, the prospects are much improved.
William McGrath, Chief Executive commented: "As we anticipated, the autumn has been very tough. We will, however, achieve profit growth this year, have a strong cash position and continue to take decisive commercial action to support our great product development work. Our base case assumes no early upturn but we know we are well placed when market conditions improve."
- ENDS -
For more information on current initiatives click here
Simon Sporborg / Charlotte Kenyon, Brunswick Group - 020 7404 5959