- Homewares manufacturer Portmeirion said it would post a first-half loss after its like-for-like sales slumped 20% owing to the closure of its retail stores during lockdown.

The company, however, said it expected to return to profitability in the second half.

Total sales for the six months through June fell 8% to around £32m, having been boosted by the acquisition of Nambe last July 2019.

'As previously reported, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the closure of retail stores around the world since March has significantly impacted our sales during this period,' Portmeirion said.

'This impact has been partially negated by significant growth in online sales and by converting some of our production capabilities in our Wax Lyrical home fragrance factory to making hand sanitiser.'

'As our key markets begin to re-open, we are now seeing an improving positive trend, resulting in like-for-like sales in June being down 9% on the same period last year.'

Portmeirion said it expected to report a low-single-digit millions of pounds pre-tax loss in the first half, compared to a profit of £0.5m on-yera.

'Our business has a significant second half weighting in sales and particularly profit generation,' it added.

'We are currently seeing good order intent from customers for our key seasonal trading period and assuming no further Covid-19 disruption and the trend of improved month on month trading continues, we are confident that we will return to profitability in the second half of 2020.'

Story provided by