Acorn Stairlifts’ Group Finance Director Joanne Richardson
Acorn Stairlifts’ Group Finance Director Joanne Richardson

Acorn Stairlifts has reported an increase in both sales and profitability in its annual report for the year ended 30th September 2019 as the Yorkshire-headquartered group saw revenue grow by 7.4 per cent to £241.1m.

Founded in 1992 by acting chairman John Jakes, Acorn Stairlifts has grown over almost three decades to become one of the leading players in the stairlift market, exporting to over 80 countries including the United States where it boasts an impressive share of the market.

According to Acorn’s latest financial statement, 71.5 per cent of the company’s £241.m in sales was attributed to turnover from outside the UK – up on 2018’s 70.8 per cent.

Overseas expansion

A breakdown of the company’s turnover revealed that the UK accounted for £68.8m (up against 2018’s £65.6) and the rest of Europe generated revenues of £35.1m (up against 2018’s £32.7m). Most notable was the growth in the rest of world markets, which saw sales of £137.2m (up against 2018’s £126.1m).

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Alongside the group’s increase in turnover, Acorn’s annual report revealed a growth in profits, with its operating profit growing from £22.2m in the previous financial year to £27.7m.

Operating profit margin also grew from 9.9 per cent the previous year to 11.5 per cent in 2019, highlighting improved profitability.

In its strategic statement, the company said its improved profitability was the result of operational efficiencies achieved through an “improved marketing strategy, cost control and continuous training and development of staff.”

Jakes wealth grows

Starting the business as a one-man-band in Bradford almost 30 years ago by Jakes, Acorn Stairlifts remains privately owned with the founder and chairman remaining its sole shareholder.

In the year ended 30 September 2019, the company increased dividends to £23.8m in 2019, an increase of £3m from 2018’s £20.8m.

Now residing in Monaco, the enigmatic mobility mogul has seen his wealth climb substantially as the company has continued to grow and has been ranking higher and higher in the Sunday Times Rich List over recent years.

This year’s list saw Jakes leap up the table to be ranked among the UK’s richest 500 people, jumping from 569th to 470th with a net worth estimated to total £279m.

COVID-19 and Brexit

Covering up to the year ended 30 September 2019, the stairlift firm’s newly published annual report and financial statement does not include the impact of this year’s COVID-19 or Brexit.

Despite continuing to operate throughout the lockdown, Acorn forewarned that its financials in its next annual report would be affected. The directors highlighted, however, that the determinantal impact will likely be temporary and followed by a gradual recovery in 2020 and beyond

Identifying the global impact of the pandemic and the anticipated effects of Brexit as two key areas of risk and uncertainty, Acorn’s directors expressed confidence that the business will be able to weather both storms thanks to strong cash reserves and no bank debt.

Acorn’s Group Finance Director Joanne Richardson commented: “Our latest results show continued sales growth both in the UK and our overseas markets. Improved operational efficiencies have positively impacted the overall result, maintaining our market-leading position.

“The COVID-19 pandemic emerged after this results period and the business has had to adapt during this challenging time. However, we expect the effects to be short term.”

Regarding Brexit, Acorn says it has taken positive steps to strengthen and protect its supply routes into and out of Europe, including increasing stock levels within mainland Europe.

Acknowledging that there could be an impact on the European exchange rate, Acorn pointed out that approximately 85 per cent of its total revenue comes from within the UK or other non-EU countries.

For these and other reasons, the report concluded that: “Brexit is not expected to have a significant impact on the business.”

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https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Jo-Richardson-Acorn.jpg?fit=900%2C711&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Jo-Richardson-Acorn.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Trade NewsNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade NewsAcorn Stairlifts,annual report,Brexit,coronavirus,COVID-19,Europe,Joanne Richardson,John Jakes,North America,overseas,pandemic,revenue growth,YorkshireAcorn Stairlifts has reported an increase in both sales and profitability in its annual report for the year ended 30th September 2019 as the Yorkshire-headquartered group saw revenue grow by 7.4 per cent to £241.1m.Founded in 1992 by acting chairman John Jakes, Acorn Stairlifts has grown over almost three...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals