Brexit difficulties hold back Osborne & Little

Difficulties in delivering to EU located customers hit performance at fabric and wallcoverings group Osborne & Little last year.

The manufacturer says ‘the first full year after Brexit had an impact on sales with deliveries difficult in the first four months [of the year to 31 March]. The confidence of customers in the EU appeared to be returning in the final quarter.’

The company has set up a German distributor to ease export issues to the EU, but this has hit top-line numbers and margins as sales are at cost. Total sales rose by 7% to £14.86m – if the EU sales had been at normal trade prices turnover would have been 16% higher.

Gross margin fell from 47.4% to 41.3%: if the EU sales had been at normal trade prices the margin would have been 45.1%. ‘The difference of 2.3% was due to import duties into the EU and the launch of new collections.’

Pre-tax losses of £106,000 grew to £132,000, although total profitability swung from a loss of £280,000 to a profit of £1.1m after receiving a dividend payment of £1.327m from its US subsidiary.

OLChabot22

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