James Latham records pre-tax profits of £13.8m

26 June 2017 by SJ Pritchard

UK timber products distributor James Latham plc has recorded another set of healthy annual financial results, with pre-tax profits of £13.8m (2016: £12.9m) for the year ending March 31, 2017.

Group revenue was £198.8m, 6.9% up on last year’s £185.9m. The operating profit was £14.2m, up £1m from £13.2m and cash reserves stood at £17.2m compared to £16.8m last year.

Revenue grew during the year due to higher prices resulting from the weakness of sterling against both the dollar and the euro and to increased volumes ex-warehouse.

Panel and timber prices rose sharply during the year, due to the weakness in sterling. Focus panel products including melamine panels and door blanks continued to show good growth. Certified sustainable hardwood for the joinery sector also showed good growth.

In the current 2017/2018 financial year, like-for-like revenue, both in panels and timber, is 3% higher for April and May than the corresponding period last year which had two more working days. However the gross margin is still under pressure.

The company said it would continue to identify opportunities for growth and to introduce and promote new products. Construction of the new, upgraded site for its Yate operation is nearing completion and the move is planned for July.

Negotiations are at an advanced stage for the construction of a new site for its Wigston unit and relocation is expected by the end of the financial year.