FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10th January 2012
AGA RANGEMASTER GROUP PLC ("AGA RANGEMASTER")
NEW PRODUCT INNOVATIONS ENCOURAGING
BUT MARKETS REMAIN CHALLENGING
AGA Rangemaster, the specialist in range cookers and kitchen living, today issues a trading update ahead of its preliminary announcement of the results for the year ended 31st December 2011 which will be announced on Friday 9th March 2012.
2011 proved satisfactory given the caution of customers in the current economic environment. Revenues were close to £251 million down 3% on 2010 after a tough end to the year. The work to improve margins and control costs more than offsets the profit impact. Profit before non-recurring items and tax is expected to be up, as previously indicated, excluding last year's pension curtailment gains. Net cash balances at 31st December 2011 were over £30 million.
The evolving product mix, introduction of new manufacturing processes and the support of new administrative systems have brought new commercial and efficiency opportunities from which the Group is benefiting. These will be supported with further initiatives in the months ahead with particular emphasis being placed on building on our international presence.
Overall sales of cast iron cookers were down but AGA Total Control, launched in May, is reaching new audiences and contributed to a third of all AGA orders in the second half of the year. AGA Total Control is now well established in the UK and the first signs of international traction are being seen. For Rangemaster, cooker sales were up overseas but down in the UK.
AGA Marvel in North America is seeing encouraging sales momentum. The reduction in Fired Earth and Grange losses continues - although not as quickly as planned.
The strong British manufacturing and brand heritage, together with the Group's innovative products, are relevant themes which we expect to gain in importance in Britain and overseas during 2012.
William McGrath, Chief Executive, commented:
"The Group has recently launched a formidable range of products including the AGA Total Control that will drive us forward in 2012. These products will be backed by commercial and operational efficiency gains that build firmly on the progress already achieved."
- ENDS -
William McGrath, Chief Executive, AGA Rangemaster Group plc - 01926 455731
Simon Sporborg/Charlotte Kenyon, Brunswick Group - 020 7404 5959