Stoddard spins out margins

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The Independent Online
AN INCREASE in the amount of wool spun in-house by Stoddard Sekers, maker of Wilton and Axminster carpets, will help it to absorb a 50 per cent rise in the wool price without damaging margins, according to Ralph Ellis, chief executive, writes Heather Connon.

The cost of raw wool - between one-third and two-thirds of the cost of carpet manufacture - has risen by more than 50 per cent since September. Mr Ellissaid the group had absorbed most of that cost by increasing the proportion of yarn spun in-house.

In the year to March gross margins were held at about 31 per cent but net margins improved from 4.4 to 4.9 per cent.

That helped the group to increase pre-tax profits from pounds 1.5m to pounds 2.1m on sales 8 per cent ahead at pounds 55.8m. The dividend is increased by 0.1p by way of 0.85p (0.75p) final.