Aga Rangemaster has warned of cooling demand in the UK and Europe for its upmarket cookers, as the debt crisis hits consumer confidence.
The maker of the cast-iron Aga cookers said autumn trading had been "very tough" – below last year's seasonal peak levels. Following a disappointing performance between 1 July and 10 November, the group expects full-year revenues to be lower than last year's £259m.
This led Execution Noble to slash its 2011 pre-tax profit forecast by £0.6m to £6.9m. However, William McGrath, the chief executive of Aga Rangemaster – which has 15 brands including Fired Earth, Falcon and Heartland – stressed that the company had a "strong cash position", expected to be close to last year's £35m. Its sales remained robust in London, boosted by it selling 750 of the Aga Total Control cookers – which cost about £9,500 and have built-in computers – since May.
But Aga Rangemaster was hit by lower demand outside the capital and in the rest of Europe, as uncertainty over Greece and Italy took its toll.
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