Royal Doulton profits down

Royal Doulton, in which fine glassware and crystal maker Waterford Wedgwood has a 25% stake, said first half profits fell 36% following store closures and lower consumer confidence.
Royal Doulton rep…

Royal Doulton, in which fine glassware and crystal maker Waterford Wedgwood has a 25% stake, said first half profits fell 36% following store closures and lower consumer confidence. Royal Doulton reported 10 September 2003 that pre-tax profits for the six months to June 2003, including one-off profits of GBP 2.8 million from disposals, fell to GBP 4.9 million from GBP 7.7 million. Turnover decreased by 17% to GBP 58m. “Industry overcapacity continued to exert pressure on prices and margins and consumers continued their value conscious purchasing patterns,” chairman Hamish Grossart said. The company, whose net debt leapt to GBP 17 million in June 2003 from GBP 11 million at the start of 2003 due to restructuring costs, said sales in the first two months of the 2H “continued the pattern apparent in the first six months”, but that costs have continued to fall. Gross margin has shown some improvement, it added, reflecting the increased proportion of sourced and overseas manufactured goods. “The major structural changes have now been largely completed and some of the four key measures in the business, underlying sales change, gross margin, costs and cash from trading are showing more stability than has been the case,” Grossart said.