Profits fall at Blackburn wallpaper firm Graham and Brown
10:00am Friday 5th October 2012 in News
RISING material costs caused operating profits to fall at an East Lancashire wallpaper giant.
Graham & Brown said its operating profits dropped from £3.8million to £1million in the 12 months to December 2011 due to a combination of rising commodity prices and significant investment in its international presence.
Overall turnover grew 0.5 per cent from £90.07million to £90.56million due to the impact of a more challenging climate in the UK retail sector.
And overseas sales grew 4.3per cent from £45.7m to £47.7m in the same period, representing over half of its total sales. Over the last three years, export sales have increased 50 per cent.
The Blackburn-based firm said exports had been driven by strong demand from emerging markets in the Far East, Middle East, North Africa and Russia.
Trading performance had recovered in the current financial year due to a series of cost reduction initiatives implemented last year and greater stability in raw materials costs, bosses said.
Chief executive Andrew Graham said: “Our combination of ‘Made in Britain' heritage and contemporary design has helped us penetrate key overseas markets, particularly the Far East, Middle East, North Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe, where we continue to invest in our market presence.
"These are markets where domestic wealth creation and increasingly international tastes in premium wall decoration are driving demand for our brand.
"While the global economy remains challenging for most consumer products manufacturers, we remain focused on delivering exciting new designs, both in house and in partnership with some of the world’s leading interior designers, as well as technical innovations to drive market growth across our markets."
The firm sells its range of wallpaper, wall art and paints in more than 75 countries and has sales offices in the US, France, Holland, Russia, Canada, China and Germany.
It develops collections with the world’s leading interior designers, including Wayne Hemmingway and Laurence Llewlyn-Bowen.
Graham & Brown was founded in 1946 by Harold Graham and Henry Brown. It has around 650 employees.