The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on Pittards, a well-known leather goods manufacturer based in the UK. The company reported a staggering 45% drop in revenues, totaling £6.6 million, during the first half of the year. Moreover, Pittards experienced an Ebitda loss of £1.3 million, in contrast to the Ebitda profit of £1.2 million achieved during the same period in the previous year.

CEO Reg Hankey attributed the decline in performance to the widespread disruption caused by the pandemic. Pittards heavily relies on exports, which account for 90% of its sales, making it particularly susceptible to fluctuations in global demand, logistics, and supply chains. Additionally, the company operates factories not only in the UK but also in Ethiopia, exposing it to the early turmoil caused by the virus in South Asia.

The period ending on June 30 brought about a pre-tax loss of £2.3 million, a clear contrast to the £0.2 million pre-tax profit recorded in the previous year’s same period. Despite these challenging circumstances, chairman Stephen Yapp assured investors of the company’s confidence in navigating through the crisis. There has been a rebound in sales within Pittards’ shoe, automotive, and specialty consumer goods divisions since the easing of lockdown restrictions. Both July and August witnessed positive cash flow and Ebitda for the company.

Chairman Yapp stated that despite the disruptions in the first half, the company is entering the second half with renewed confidence, stability, and positive cash flows. Pittards’ strategy to diversify its markets, expand its product range, improve margins, and cut costs has yielded positive results, with over 14% of sales coming from new target markets compared to 1.5% in the first half of 2019. Sales have consistently increased from May to August, and the company is well-positioned to achieve positive operational cash flow in the upcoming months while also reducing net debt.

Established in 1826, Pittards is a prestigious UK manufacturer known for its Daines & Hathaway collection of leather goods and the Pittards England range of bags, gloves, and garments. Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the company remains optimistic about its future. It continues to prioritize expanding its presence in various markets, enhancing product quality, and reducing costs to ensure long-term success.

Useful links:
1. Pittards Official Website
2. Daines & Hathaway Official Website