225-year-old cashmere firm Johnstons of Elgin expects sales to beat pre-Covid levels

Cashmere and fine woollens producer Johnstons of Elgin has booked a 28 per cent rise in sales and given a bullish outlook for the year despite inflationary headwinds.

The firm, which was founded in 1797 and runs two Scottish mills, in Elgin and Hawick, said demand improved progressively through the year and the company exited the period with employee numbers at a similar level to before the pandemic in 2019.

In results filed this week, Johnstons of Elgin disclosed a profit before tax of £3.9 million on sales that were up 28 per cent on the prior year, at £66.4m.

Bosses said the outlook for 2022 was good, with sales expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, though there are some headwinds in terms of cost inflation that will start to filter through in the latter part of the year and into 2023.

Chief executive Chris Gaffney said: “2021 was a year of recovery for Johnstons and we are pleased to have bounced back so strongly.

“The skill of our craftspeople and the creativity of our design team allows us to manufacture beautiful products that live for a long time in our customers wardrobes, whilst our use of natural fibres and control of our supply chain, through our mills in Scotland, enables us to better manage our environmental and social footprint.

“This combination makes us a strong partner for the luxury brands we work with and an engaging consumer brand in our own right. The future is therefore positive, and we expect to continue to recruit staff and invest in additional capacity in the coming years.”

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Scottish cashmere producer Johnstons of Elgin forecasts sales slump
Chris Gaffney is the chief executive of Scottish cashmere and fine woollens producer Johnstons of Elgin.
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