Ceramics maker Portmeirion sits pretty after jump in profit

Kasmira Jefford
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Portmeirion will boost production at its UK factory in November when it fires up a new kiln
PORTMEIRION said profits jumped by 45 per cent in the first half as the launch of a new tableware range with Ted Baker proved on trend with younger shoppers.

The Aim-listed tableware producer, which also owns Spode, Royal Worcester and Pimpernel, said sales increased 14 per cent to £27.9m in the half year to 30 June while pre-tax profits rose to £1.8m.

In the UK, sales rose 16 per cent thanks to its collaborations with fashion retailer Ted Baker as well as Wrendale for Royal Worcester.

Sales in South Korea, its second largest market where its Botanic Garden range is hugely popular, slumped 16 per cent following a slowdown in the economy.

Chief executive Lawrence Bryan said he expects a recovery in the second half, when it will ship two new “Made in the UK” ranges.

The company will fire up its new kiln at its Stoke-on-Trent factory by November, increasing capacity by 50 per cent to 240,000 pieces a week and reducing its reliance on overseas production.