Strong year for James Latham29 June 2018
James Latham plc has reported strong trading results for the financial year to March 31, 2018.
Revenue was £214.9m, up 8.1% on last year’s £198.8m. Volumes have continued to grow, especially through the group’s own warehouses where they are up 4.5%.
“The cost price of our products have increased in comparison to the previous 12 months, said Nick Latham, chairman.
“This is in part down to the weakening of sterling against the euro, but also we have seen manufacturers continuing to increase their prices.”
Gross margin for the financial year was 17.6% compared with 18.2% in the previous financial year.
“It was particularly pleasing to see an improvement in the gross margin in the second half of the year, which was 17.9% compared with 17.3% in the first half of the year,” said Mr Latham.
Selling and distribution costs were 5.3% higher than last year. Distribution costs rose in line with volumes, and costs per delivered tonne were up by 2.3%.
“Overheads have been well controlled when we consider that we have relocated both Yate and Leicester (Wigston) sites during the year. We have successfully minimised the relocation costs and double costs of owning two empty sites, which have cost us less than £150,000,” said Mr Latham. “Both sites are performing extremely well since their relocation, particularly in added value products where the new racking systems have allowed us to increase our stock range.”
Profit before tax is £15.2m, up £1.4m on last year’s £13.8m. This includes a profit of £1.3m on the sale of the Wigston site.
Post tax profit for the year is £12.6m, up from last year’s £11m.
Earnings per ordinary share were 64.4p (2017: 56.0p) an increase of 15%.
Mr Latham added that, despite the strong start to the year, there is increasing uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook, but the company remains confident it is in a strong position to continue to grow the business.
“The directors will continue to develop the business,” he said. “This will be done by a combination of investing in our current warehouse facilities, with the emphasis this year on Purfleet, Thurrock and Gateshead, and further extending our hours of operation.
“We are also looking at geographical growth, and focusing on developing sales of our key product areas. In addition to our showroom at the Business Design Centre in Islington, we are in the process of opening a design centre in Manchester as we continue to focus our efforts in the A&D (architects and designers) specification sector.”