A STEETON company has reported another successful year – and voiced confidence that it can overcome the challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit.
Acorn Stairlifts has seen group revenue rise by 7.4 per cent, to £241.1 million.
And the firm’s operating profit has increased from £22.2m to £27.7m.
The annual report and financial statement – just published – is for the year ended September 30, 2019, so doesn’t include the impact of the pandemic or Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Company directors say that whilst next year’s figures are likely to be affected by both factors, there is confidence the detrimental impact will be temporary and that it will be followed by a gradual recovery.
The board adds that with strong cash reserves and no bank debt, the firm is well placed to meet any challenges.
In readiness for Brexit, Acorn has taken steps to strengthen and protect its supply routes from Europe – including increasing stock levels within mainland Europe.
Although exchange rates could be affected, around 85 per cent of Acorn’s total revenue comes from within the UK or other non-EU countries.
Group finance director, Joanne Richardson, said: “Our latest results show continued sales growth, both in the UK and our overseas markets.
“Improved operational efficiencies have positively impacted the overall result, maintaining our market-leading position.
“The Covid-19 pandemic emerged after this results period and the business has had to adapt during this challenging time. However, we expect the effects to be short term.”
The privately-owned company – founded as a one-man operation in Bradford in 1992 – now employs 1,588 people worldwide, up by 52 on the previous year.
More than 500 work at – or from – the head office and factory on Steeton’s Millennium Business Park.
The latest figures show that export sales now account for 71.5 per cent of Acorn’s total turnover.
The firm exports its stairlifts to around 80 countries worldwide and has wholly-owned subsidiaries operating in North America, Canada, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Its North American market in particular experienced positive sales growth during the year covered by the report.
Acorn has continued its operations throughout the pandemic, maintaining existing customers’ stairlifts and installing new ones where there has been strong need.