Published: 10:15, 19 April 2017
| Updated: 10:20, 19 April 2017
A mattress maker which holds a royal warrant has swung back into profit after coming under new ownership.
Strood-based Sleepeezee, which makes beds for Travelodge, increased revenues by 7% to £29 million last year and made a pre-tax profit of £1.2 million after losses of £788,000 a year earlier, its latest accounts show.
Founded in 1924, the firm’s French parent company Cauval fell into administration in February last year and was bought by Adova Group, backed by private equity firm Perceva.
It subsequently made an operating profit of £1.2 million after losses of £776,000 in 2015 and increased its gross profit margin by two points to 30%.
In his company report, managing director Howard Wilson said: “Having a financially secure and supportive new owner in place, the directors feel extremely positive about the group’s position and its prospects for the future.”
He said the EU referendum had “little overall effect” on consumer spending, which continued to grow in the second half of the year.
“Despite uncertainty caused by the outcome of the vote plus volatile oil prices and unstable foreign exchange markets, consumer confidence in the UK economy remained resilient,” he said.
“However, towards the end of the year the depreciation of sterling increased the cost of many essential items which in turn had a negative impact on more discretionary spending on big ticket items.
“Despite uncertainty caused by the outcome of the vote plus volatile oil prices and unstable foreign exchange markets, consumer confidence in the UK economy remained resilient..." - Howard Wilson, Sleepeezee
“The fall in the pound, particularly against the US dollar and the euro, increased our input costs of currency denominated materials and selling prices had to be increased to compensate for this.”
Mr Wilson said the first three months of 2017 have seen consumers “continuing to rein in discretionary spending” as they see household costs continue to rise.
He added: “Retailers’ January sales were very short-lived and have not proved to have been as resilient as expected.”
Sleepeezee, which moved its manufacturing to the county from west London in 2006, has awarded a royal warrant from the Queen in 1963 and from the Prince of Wales in 1985.