Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: Camden Group Ltd.

Profits drop at family window firm

By John Simpson

The family-owned business of the Camden Group manufactures UPVC double glazed windows, doors and associated glass panels. The business is based in Antrim town.

The most recent results, for the year to March 2012, continue to reflect the fall in activity which can be attributed to the general recession affecting the construction sector of the economy whether in terms of new build or replacement and renovation.

Annual turnover peaked in 2008 at over £55m. Since then, after a large fall in 2009, turnover has been below £40m each year and fell further in the most recent year to just under £35m

In the earlier part of the last decade, Camden enjoyed a period of expansion facilitated both by capital investment within the business and in 2006 and 2007 linked to the purchase of the related type of business, trading as K McAnallen, which was renamed Camden Glass.

The large investment in 2006-7 lead to a substantial increase in employment. The average number of employees in 2007-8 rose to 630 from an average of 385 a year earlier. In more recent years, employment has fallen to an average of 414 people in 2012.

The change in trading conditions is sharply illustrated in the fall in pre-tax profits of £4.8m in 2007-8 to £200,000 in 2009-10. Then in the next two years, pre-tax losses have been carried, rising to £1.9m in 2011-12.

Before taking into account interest charges on borrowed funds, operating profits have been higher than pre-tax profits (losses). Operating losses in 2011-12 reached £1.3m.

A part of the capital financing, the group is in the form of redeemable cumulative preference shares of nominal value £1.2m. The shares earn a dividend of 5% (or £60,000) each year.