Aga follows growth recipe

A sluggish housing market and cautious consumer spending made 2012 a tough year for the cookers group Aga Rangemaster, but its chief executive, William McGrath, believes that even if the property market does not take off in 2013 the group is doing enough to ensure it can grow again.

Sales dropped 2.5 per cent last year to £247m but pre-tax profits still moved up 12 per cent to £8.4m.

Mr McGrath said: "We have taken action to cut costs and improve efficiency. So at Fired Earth, which was losing around £1m two years ago, we are back to break-even. I think some of the efforts we have put in across the business will start to show results this year. We are also driving international growth and expect the States to pick up."

Aga sorted out much of its long-standing pension fund problem last year, pumping an extra £20m into it.