Don and Low Turn Their Fortunes Around

Profits at Forfar textile firm Don and Low, which employs more than 400 people, climbed by more than £10 million last year.

Newly filed accounts for the firm show its pre-tax profit jumped to £10.4 million for the year ending December 31, 2020.

That was a stark increase from the £821 loss recorded in 2019.

Revenue also jumped by nearly £14 million – from £66.4 million in 2019 to £80 million at the textile company.

In his strategic report, published alongside the accounts, company secretary Colin Johnson said the firm had performed well in 2020.

He said the figures were a “welcome reversal” of the loss reported in 2019.

The company, which has had a presence in the town for more than a century, provided one million gowns, masks and respirators for NHS Scotland.

Last summer, 100 jobs were lost in technical textiles, but 30 new roles were created in the non-woven division of the company.

That meant the firm made 70 redundancies.

Mr Johnson said: “The unprecedented changes in short-term demand conditions in certain markets, and the group’s ability to react to these changes, was a key factor for the result in the year.

“The Coronavirus pandemic affected the business both positively and negatively based on customer demand for certain products.

“On the positive side, the business performed well due to increased demand in the filtration, medical and construction markets.

“Carpet backing and some industrial products were adversely affected by the shutdown of several customers’ supply chains.”

Accounts for Don and Low show sales in woven textiles fell by more than £10 million in the reporting year.

Sales dropped from £38 million to £22.2 million, while in the non-woven side of the business, sales almost doubled.

Non-woven sales rose from £28.4 million to almost £52 million for the year.

Headcount at the Glamis Road based firm dropped to 409, from 476, but that was due to the redundancies made.

Don and Low still expects to face challenges as a result of the pandemic.

Mr Johnson’s strategic report said that the business is confident that investments in equipment will see them through.

The firm invested £18 million in equipment last year.

Mr Johnson said: “These investments contributed to the strong performance in the year.

“The group is pleased with the progress that has been made in integrating the new equipment into the business.

“It is confident that the move to more capital-intensive manufacturing is the correct one for the long-term.”

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