THE upturn in the London and the south-east of England housing market is pushing through to sales of upmarket stoves and cookers, Aga Rangemaster has said.
“The tide is really turning,” said chief executive William McGrath. “The mood among our customers is better, and there is a buzz about our new products. There has been a real shift in sentiment.
“It has been a long hard slog for five years but while sales were down 4% in the first quarter, they were up 5% in the second and orders at the end of June were 8% up a year earlier.”
Notably successful were the new electric models Total Control and Dual Control, which Aga says can be run for about £5 a week, do not need servicing regularly and offer annual fuel savings of some £1,000 a year over older oil-fired stoves. Launched two years ago, these cookers now account for 30% of Aga sales.
Aga's revenues were flat in the first half at £119m, as were operating profits at £1.5m. Analysts are forecasting a rise in full-year profits from £6.3m to £7.1m.
The shares jumped 5.5p to 109.25p.