Property market lifts Aga

Picture: AGA
Picture: AGA
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Upmarket cooker maker Aga Rangemaster has hailed Britain’s resurgent property market as it delivered a rise in annual profits.

The firm, which also owns tiling and paint retailer Fired Earth, said the “tide turning” in house sales proved pivotal as it achieved underlying profits of £8.2 million in 2013, an increase of 26.2 per cent on a year earlier.

Shares in the company ended the trading session up 15p, or 8.7 per cent, at 188p.

Revenues grew 2.4 per cent to £244.6m, helped by a 10 per cent rise in sales of Aga range cookers, having been down 2 per cent at the half-year stage. There was also a sharp shift towards electric cooker models, which represented 70 per cent of sales.

However, pre-tax profits fell to £1.1m, from £1.7m in 2012, due to the impact of servicing the company’s pension scheme deficit, which fell from £38.7m a year earlier to £35.8m.

Chief executive William McGrath said: “As revenues start to grow, with capacity available and with new products and a widened targeted customer base, we are confident of good progress in the year.

“With nearly two-thirds of our sales still linked to UK consumer spending on the home, the housing market is of central importance to us.”