AGA Rangemaster Group plc, the consumer brands Group, is issuing
a trading update ahead of its interim results for the six months
ended 30th June 2010 which will be announced on 27th August
The Group has traded in line with expectations and has made steady progress with Rangemaster cooker sales providing a boost while consumer markets remain subdued given current economic conditions. The plan for 2010 remains to rebuild profitability and to generate cash as markets improve given the continuing cost reduction programmes, the strong operational gearing and the systematic investment in product development.
Sales of AGA cast iron cookers were up in the first half and the current level of leads suggests that 2010 will prove better than 2009 although sales of the all-in-one cooker and boiler Rayburn and Stanley models were appreciably lower.
Rangemaster has had another good half year. Sales through design centres, featuring the broader Rangemaster appliance offering, have performed well. Sales on the near continent have been particularly strong reflecting an established long run growth pattern. After a slow start, first half order intake for Rangemaster was up over 8% on 2009 and production is being increased from budgeted levels for the second half of the year.
Closer integration of the operations continues to bring benefits, notably between AGA and Rangemaster in the UK. In addition, in North America, our decision to make our new state-of-the-art Greenville, Michigan site the production and distribution centre for hot, as well as cold products, will see the cooker production facility in Ontario close later this year.
Our home fashions lines overall improved but remained loss-making with Fired Earth revenues down while orders were up and at Grange orders and revenues were ahead. Our cookware lines from AGA and Divertimenti performed well.
Cash continues to be carefully managed and net cash balances at 30th June 2010 were in excess of £20 million compared with £2.3 million a year earlier. The Group expects to generate net cash again this year.
William McGrath, Chief Executive, commented: "We have had a sound first half as activity levels ticked up and Rangemaster is providing considerable impetus. The sustained and innovative work on our product offering and in supporting our brands, alongside the cost base reductions made, all mean we are well positioned for a recovery."
- ENDS -
For further information on Rangemaster cooker sales click here
William McGrath, Chief Executive, AGA Rangemaster Group
plc - 01926 455731
Simon Sporborg/Charlotte Kenyon, Brunswick Group - 020 7404 5959