Brechin Blinds Firms Sees Turnover Rise

An Angus window blind manufacturer has shrugged off economic challenges as turnover jumped by more than 13%.

Newly-filed accounts for Stevens (Scotland), show turnover rose from £8.4 million in 2018, to £9.6m for the year ending December 31, 2019 – an increase of 13.2%.

However, pre-tax profits fell by 15.7% from £1m in 2018, to £851,625 in 2019.

The firm, founded in 1968, operates from a 66,000 sq ft complex in Brechin manufactures a range of products including motorised, remote control blinds.

Stevens is a significant employer in the area and during the reporting period, the headcount rose by six to 116.

Commenting in the annual report director Chris Simpson said the environment in which Stevens operates remained challenging in 2019, but described the trading period as positive.

He said: “The company continues to be subject to competitive pressures in terms of product development, price, delivery and service.

“Investing in capital equipment and IT infrastructure is now and will continue to be critical to the future success of the business.

“The principal risk and uncertainty at the current time relates to the level of general economic activity in the UK and world terms due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a risk common to most companies at the current time.

“The company has a very wide customer base in terms of activity and size.

“It also has a range of suppliers and so has no concerns regarding continuity of supply.”

Mr Simpson added the directors consider that the company is well placed to “withstand and prosper” in the current conditions when compared to competitors.

Stevens prides itself as a leading manufacturer of window blinds in the UK and boasts of its investment in production facilities.

A statement on the company website highlights investment of £275,000 on new equipment across the factory.

This included new fabric welding machinery which delivered increased finishing options to the vertical range.

The company also purchased an additional automated cutting table, taking the total to three.

The table has increased the level of automation in the company’s production and minimising the volume of waste fabric and reducing errors.

Stevens also spends more than £50,000 per year on a comprehensive maintenance programme on its equipment.

A total of 108 staff worked in manufacturing and distribution roles, with eight personnel in administrative positions.

The bill for wages and associated costs come to £3m over the year.

Mr Simpson said “Since returning from the initial lockdown in March, business trading performance has been strong, with a further strengthening of cash reserves.

“The company has sufficient financial resources with which the directors believe that the company is well placed to manage its business risks successfully.

Stevens became a subsidiary undertaking of Hunter Douglas (UK) Ltd in October 2015 in a multi-million pound deal.

The ultimate parent company Hunter Douglas NV is domiciled in the Netherlands.

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