Hunter Boot, the Edinburgh-based maker of the iconic wellington, has seen its annual profits fall by more than a third but is embarking on an investment strategy aimed at creating a “strong platform” for growth.
Turnover dipped 4.6 per cent to £74.4 million and the firm, which traces its roots back to 1856, said trading conditions look set to remain “challenging” this year.
Domestic sales fell 11.7 per cent to £32m, with US revenues 16 per cent lower at £21m, but sales in Canada more than trebled to £5.4m.
An increase in the wage bill as its headcount grew from 73 to 85 during 2012 also contributed to the 38.4 per cent slide in pre-tax profits to £13.6m.
As well as its traditional market among the landed gentry, the boots are popular with music festival goers – including model Lily Cole, Keira Knightley and Kate Moss.
In 2012, US private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners took a controlling stake in Hunter Boot. London-based brand management group Pentland owns the remaining 25 per cent.