- Industrial equipment group HC Slingsby said it had eked out a modest profit in the first four months of the year, as higher sales were partially offset by weaker marings.

Revenue in April had risen 6%, adding to the 8% rise recently reported for the three months through March, the company said in a trading update for its annual general meeting.

Pre-tax profit for the four months through April was £0.1 million, down from £0.2 million year-on-year.

'The market remains competitive and the group remains cautious regarding the outlook,' HC Slingsby said.

'This is particularly the case due to the significant uncertainty caused by coronavirus.'

'Whilst the group's sales grew in 2020 due to demand for coronavirus related products, the group has not experienced the same level of orders in April and May 2021 that it did during 2020.'

'It is unclear as to the impact that the virus will have on demand going forward. There is also heightened potential for credit related issues should customers become insolvent.'

The company added that it continued to experience significant cost increases across its product range as well as higher shipping costs and delays.

'These increases impacted on gross margin in the first four months of 2021 and the directors consider the impact on gross margins is likely to persist for the remainder of the year,' it said.

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