Aga sales off back burner with revival in housing

The update came as the company prepares to be taken over by US rival Middleby

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The Independent Online

A recovery in the housing market since the election is paying off for the upmarket cooker maker Aga, with new homeowners snapping up stoves.

Aga Rangemaster Group yesterday reported a 1.5 per cent rise in turnover to £125.4m in the six months to 30 June.

It saw a slow start to the year as consumers were cautious with their spending, the company said. But since the May election, there has been “a marked change in attitude”.

Before Britain went to the polls, the threat of a mansion tax meant homebuyers – potential Aga owners – were put off making a move. But a number of housebuilders have reported that buying activity has returned to normal.

William McGrath, chief executive of Aga said: “We were and are very well placed to benefit as the housing market picks up.”

The update came as the company prepares to be taken over by US rival Middleby in a £129m deal that is expected to complete next month.

With customers such as Dixons Carphone and AO World, Aga sales performed well in the first half, and John Lewis has started taking more Rangemaster lines. Models such as the slimline Aga City60, which has a width of only 60 centimetres, were popular in London, and the Dual Control lines remained big sellers across the UK.

However, the group was hit by a mild spring in Ireland, resulting in slow sales.

Costs linked to the takeover by Middleby contributed to a pre-tax loss of £4m.

 

Aga products have proved popular since May’s general election as consumers have abandoned pre-poll caution  pa

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