Romag: sales drop but 2011 growth seen

UK specialist glassmaker Romag has seen sales drop 41% after orders crashed and prices halved, but the company“s chief executive Lynn Miles is confident that the company will return to growth in 2011…

UK specialist glassmaker Romag has seen sales drop 41% after orders crashed and prices halved, but the company“s chief executive Lynn Miles is confident that the company will return to growth in 2011. The company, which is based in Consett, northern England, and is a market leader in the field of solar-panel glass, saw revenues decrease from GBP 33.6 million in 2008 to GBP 19.7 million over the 12 months to the end of September 2009. Building projects came to a standstill and competitors cut their prices to secure a foothold in a shrinking market due to the financial crisis and subsequent recession, obliging Romag to reduce its prices by 50%. Ms. Miles said: As the global financial markets collapsed and project finance was withdrawn by the banks, we saw a brutal and swift downturn and this proved fatal to some of our competitors. We were surprised at the level of the downturn and companies like ours were left with a lot of inventory. Some of our competitors, and in particular the Chinese companies, opted to sell at less then cost price. This led to a dramatic fall in prices, down by as much as 50%. Romag had cut costs and made more than 70 staff redundant, but Ms. Miles said that the company had recently been able to recruit some of these workers again and now employs 155 people at its 120,000 sq.ft. factory.