Garden products supplier Gardman increased UK sales by 20 per cent to £47.3m and profits by 43 per cent to £7m in the year to 31 January 2005.
Finance director Richard Browne said he expects a further 15 per cent in sales for results to 31 January 2006, with a profit that is “not going to go up”.
Independent garden centres provide two-thirds of the Lincolnshire-based company’s sales. The 250-staff company prospered with screening products and solar lights, and it bought the Willerdale brand of outdoor footwear in 2004.
Browne said Gardman could not afford to ignore the current poor market conditions for retailers. He believes that the de-stocking process is now over after two soft years and retailers are in good shape to rebuild.
“The key for Gardman is how our customers trade out of the winter season. The last thing we want is their capital tied up in Christmas product ranges.”
He added that retailers had found it “tough up to Christmas” but Gardman was expecting a good final quarter after a soft third quarter in 2005.
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