Kitchen and bedroom manufacturer and retailer John Lewis of Hungerford has announced it expects to report a sales increase for the year to 31 August 2016, as well as a loss of £0.3m.
According to its latest trading update, the company said it expects sales to grow by 5% to £8.2m from £7.8m in 2015, with the growth almost entirely achieved in the second half.
The firm highlighted that ‘sales growth contributed to the business delivering an underlying profit in the second half’ although, as stated at the time of the interim results, this was ‘insufficient to recover in full the loss incurred in the first half’.
The update said: “We expect to report an underlying loss for the full year of £0.3m excluding exceptional items, which include the previously announced closure costs of our Tunbridge Wells and Harrogate showrooms.”
John Lewis of Hungerford said that its steps taken to generate annualised savings of at least £0.3m have ‘ensured a more streamlined internal structure, without compromising our high standards of customer service’, stating: “The Board expect that this improvement in the underlying cost base of the business will ensure the company is able to work towards a sustained return to profitability and improved shareholder value.”
Trading in the current financial year has seen sales slip by 5.2% to £1.8m from £1.9m in Q1 2015, whilst its forward order book remains comparable on last year at £1.3m.
The company stated: “Steps taken during the second half of 2016 to address the recent pressures on gross margin are now beginning to take effect and have contributed to a small improvement in the current year.”
John Lewis of Hungerford, which has recently confirmed Gary O’Brien as its new chairman, will announce its full results next month.