COOKER manufacturer Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA) more than doubled its profits despite a fall in sales.
The Prescot manufacturer, renowned for brands including Stoves and Belling, reported turnover for the year to last March of £117m – down from £129m in 2011.
But accounts newly filed at Companies House show pre-tax profits rose from £3m to £6.8m.
GDHA’s profits in 2011 were hit by a £3.5m write-off on the value of its investment in Lec Refrigeration.
The Irish-owned company also kept a tight rein on its costs, as operating expenses fell from £20.5m to £18.9m.
But GDHA, which employs more than 1,000 people at its base in Stoney Lane, Prescot, still lifted research and development spent from £1.8m to £1.9m.
It said: “It is the intention of the directors to continue to develop the principal activities of the company and to identify areas with further growth potential.
“The company is engaged in ongoing research and development work in order to improve its product range and to increase its market share.”
GDHA was formed in 2001 when Irish group Glen Dimplex bought the Prescot-based Stoves Group, which traces its history back to 1920.
GDHA’s Belling brand celebrated its centenary in 2012 with a visit from the Duke of Kent, who enjoyed a cookery demonstration from Belling brand ambassador and celebrity chef Brian Turner.
The Duke also presented the company with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the international trade category.
In 2010 the company launched a Made in Britain campaign to promote British manufacturing.
Speaking to the Post in July, chief executive Denver Hewlett said: “UK manufacturing is very important to us.
“We wanted to promote the fact that we’re the remaining volume cooker manufacturer in the UK. About 90% of our cookers are made here.
“We’re not telling people to buy British. We’re just making them aware if they want to.
“Lots of consumers are fairly confused about what’s made here. We’re very clear. We ask you to consider buying British.”
The company also benefits from having a British base because UK consumers prefer cookers with two cavities – one for the grill and one for the oven – rather than the single-cavity oven more popular in Europe.
GDHA says its Stoke-on-Trent distribution centre ships 10,000 GDHA products across the UK every week.