Brodie & Stone owner Creightons returns to profit

  • Creightons reported a £302,000 profit for the six months ending September
  • The beauty products company reported turnover dropped by £2.1m to £27.6m

Consumer goods manufacturer Creightons has swung back to a first-half profit despite a sales decline over the period.

The beauty products company reported a £302,000 pre-tax profit for the six months ending September, compared to a £359,000 loss in the same period last year.

Turnover dropped by £2.1million to £27.6million, with revenues in the firm’s contract business slumping by over a third to £4.9million and offsetting growth in private label sales.

Rebound: Creightons reported a £302,000 pre-tax profit for the six months ending September, compared to a £359,000 loss in the same period last year 

Creightons said trading in its contract arm was impacted by brands making fewer orders as they try to reduce stock levels, while in the branded division, sales were hit by a ‘significant decline in a key export market’.

However, its overall gross profit margin increased by nearly two percentage points to 42.2 per cent thanks to higher prices and better management of operating costs.

The Peterborough-based group said it had experienced major supply chain and inflationary pressures since November 2022.

In response, it has implemented a six-point plan, including removing the second shift at its Peterborough and Devon manufacturing sites, which also helps reduce energy costs and overheads.

Creightons has also restructured its warehouse and logistics operations to bring the picking and packing of products in-house.

William McIlroy, the executive chairman of Creightons, said: ‘In common with most UK manufacturing businesses, we are operating in a period of significant inflationary pressures and weakening consumer demand. 

‘The margin recovery and pro-active cost reduction measures we have taken will continue to deliver an improved performance in the second half of the year.’

Founded in 1975, Creightons’ brands include personal care business Brodie & Stone cruelty-free skincare seller Emma Hardie and Humble, the beauty range of television presenter Kate Humble.

Sales of its hygiene goods soared significantly during the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic on the back of demand for staples like hand washes and sanitiser.

Creightons shares were 2.2 per cent higher at 23p on early Monday afternoon, but they have declined by around 29 per cent since the year began.