Flooring manufacturing Airea hails turnaround plan as sales grow

The chief executive of Yorkshire carpet tile manufacturer Airea says his firm is now punching above its weight thanks to a three-year turnaround plan.

Médéric Payne, who joined the business 18 months ago, hailed Airea’s pursuit of sustainability as he laid out growth plans that have delivered new jobs at the Ossett-based firm’s factory and in field sales, with expectations of more to come. The ambition comes as AIM-listed Airea reported growth in revenue from £18.4m to £21.1m in 2023, with operating profits up slightly from £1.6m to £1.8m.

Mr Payne said it been a year of progress driven by demand for its sustainable product ranges and helped by an easing in raw material inflation. Airea has turned to a US supplier of recycled and low carbon materials to make its carpet tile ranges – a move it says has helped it become more competitive.

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Earlier this year the firm announced a £5m investment into its Ossett factory. That move, funded by a combination of cash and bank loans, aims to increase production at the site which currently employs about 85 people.

Mr Payne’s vision for the firm is to grow international sales to around 50% of the sales mix, from its current position of about 30%.

He said: “Airea made excellent progress in 2023 and has maintained a high standard of service to our customers, with revenue growth of 14.1% over the period. The growth was driven by an increase in demand for our more sustainable product ranges, with limited cost increases as raw material inflation eased through the second half of the year. We have firmly re-established our presence within the UK and ROI, outperforming the market. This has given the group confidence to achieve greater growth scalability in the wider European and other key international markets.

“We more closely aligned our key products to the group’s ten market sectors throughout 2023, resulting in an increased rate of sales growth. We continue to work closely with our customers to meet their needs and provide a market-leading service.

“With the launch of the group’s eco2matters sustainability principles in December 2022 defining the scope of the direction for 2023, this accelerated the launch of two carbon-neutral products and refreshing two low-carbon products in the year. This is a significant step change in the business, and we intend to continue to invest for future sales growth, incorporating the eco2matters principles and the journey towards net zero. We continue to transform the business with a more focused growth strategy centred on sustainability.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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