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Dawson's Knitting division has another excellent year
Mar '09
Dawson International PLC released the preliminary results for the 53 weeks ended 3 January 2009.

- Significant profit improvement in every division; overall Group profit
- Turnover increased by 15 per cent to £106.8 million (2007: £92.6 million)
- Results achieved despite recognising £2 million unrealised exchange loss
- Funding position improved by £11.4 million; net cash of £5.7 million

Commenting on the preliminary results for the 53 weeks ended 3 January 2009 Andy Bartmess, chief executive said: “I am pleased to report that 2008 has been a year of considerable progress with each business showing significant improvement. We increased turnover by 15 per cent, raised operating profits before exceptional items by £3.7 million, improved funding by £11.4 million and returned a profit after tax of £0.5 million.

“We have entered 2009 in a position of strength based on the strategic actions taken and the results achieved in 2008. Our balance sheet is strong and the Group's current businesses have an improved risk profile. However, current economic conditions in the countries where we operate are the worst that have been experienced for a very long time. Our businesses are experiencing uncertainty with respect to demand and it is quite likely we will see lower sales levels in 2009 than in 2008. The continued weakness of Sterling and volatility of exchange rates contribute to a cautious outlook for 2009.

“We remain focused on our goal of delivering sustainable profitability and acceptable returns on capital employed.”

The Knitting division had yet another excellent year, achieving an operating profit of £5.1 million against £2.8 million in 2007. This result was driven primarily by strong private label sales in the USA and exceptionally strong couture sales in Europe. ROACE within this division increased from 80 per cent to 86 per cent.

At Barrie, sales to haute couture customers substantially increased. The business also benefited from the decline in the value of Sterling against the US Dollar and the Euro which improved margins on its sales to the USA and to Europe. The upgrade of knitting machinery continued during 2008 with investment in new Shima knitting equipment enabling the business to respond to growing market demand for more intricate styles and lighter weight garments.

The acquisition of the John Laing business in 2006 is now fully integrated and operating successfully as part of the Barrie operation.

Dawson International is one of the world's leading cashmere businesses. It operates in every aspect of cashmere from goat to garment.

Dawson International PLC

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