THE company behind the distinctive cast iron Aga posted a 2% fall in annual revenues as it continued to see subdued demand for cookers as fewer people moved home.
Aga Rangemaster said “continuing headwinds“ of weak consumer demand in the housing and home improvements markets had left cooker revenues “slightly lower“, in the year ending December 31.
But it said its Irish business and unfavourable currency rates had been the main drag on revenues. Shares were down 2% yesterday, despite the group’s expectation for annual underlying profits to increase.
Andrew Wade, analyst at Numis Securities, said he expected pre-tax profits to be £6.6m.
Aga Rangemaster chief executive William McGrath said there were signs of improvement in the housing market and the group’s innovative ranges – including remote controlled Aga cookers – would put it in a strong position when the economy rebounds.
Wade said: “Looking into 2013, the trajectory of housing transactions in the UK will be crucial to earnings growth and we note some more positive noises beginning to come out of the house builders and estate agents.” The group said its tile and paint business, Fired Earth, had finished the year well. It has opened five new Fired Earth shops in the last six months.