Acorn Stairlifts, the Yorkshire-based manufacturer and retailer of home stairlifts, has reported “another successful year”, with group revenue up by 7.4% to £241.1 million.
The firm’s newly published annual report and financial statement is for the year ended September 30th, 2019, so doesn’t include the impact of this year’s Covid-19 pandemic or Brexit. However, the directors in their strategic report express confidence the business can overcome both these challenges.
As well as increased turnover, the annual report shows Acorn’s operating profit at £27.7 million, up from £22.2 million the previous year. The privately-owned business – 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 its head offices and factory on the Millennium Business Park in Steeton, near Keighley.
The latest figures show that export sales of Acorn’s British-made stairlifts now account for 71.5% of its total turnover as overseas markets continue to expand. The company exports to around 80 countries worldwide and has wholly-owned subsidiaries operating in North America, Canada, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The North American market in particular experienced very positive sales growth during the year covered by the report.
As part of the essential medical and social care supply chain, Acorn has operated throughout the pandemic, maintaining existing customers’ stairlifts and installing new ones in cases of compelling need. Looking to the future, Acorn’s board of directors has identified two key areas of risk and uncertainty – the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the anticipated effects of Brexit.
Although the crisis is likely to affect next year’s figures, the directors are confident its detrimental impact will be temporary and followed by gradual recovery in 2020 and beyond. With strong cash reserves and no bank debt, the business is also well-placed to meet any challenges.
Regarding Brexit, Acorn has taken positive steps to strengthen and protect its supply routes into and out of Europe, including increasing stock levels within mainland Europe. Although there could be an impact on the European exchange rate, approximately 85% of Acorn’s total revenue comes from within the UK or other non-EU countries. For these and other reasons, the report concludes that: “Brexit is not expected to have a significant impact on the business”.
Acorn’s Group Finance Director Joanne Richardson commented: “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.”
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Notes to editors:
Acorn Stairlifts isa world leader in the manufacture, installation and innovation of stairlifts.
Headquartered at Steeton, West Yorkshire, Acorn Stairlifts has sales and service staff based throughout the UK.
Acorn Stairlifts produces around 70,000 stairlifts per year at its factories in Yorkshire and Scotland.
More than 70% of Acorn Stairlifts are for the export market, supplying around 80 countries worldwide including the USA, where Acorn is the recognised market leader.
Acorn Stairlifts provides the fastest installation of stairlifts for curved staircases in the world – in some cases within 24 hours of an order being placed.
Acorn Stairlifts is a British manufacturer with a nationwide and international network of expert installers and service engineers.
Acorn Stairlifts are precision manufactured, and designed and built in the UK.
Somewhere in the world, an Acorn Stairlift is installed every eight minutes.