PROFITS and turnover at Oldham-based consumer products specialist Ultimate Products have taken a hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but its chief executive has hailed the firm's "resilience".

Group revenues are down 6.1 per cent to £115.7 million from £123.3 million for the year ending July 31.

The dip reflects order cancellations deferrals due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the London Stock Exchange-listed firm said today (Monday, September 7).

Profits, measured using earnings before interest, taxation and amortisation (EBITDA) criteria, were down 3.3 per cent to £10.4 million, and underlying profit before tax, excluding furlough credit was down 2.7 per cent to £8.2 million.

However, the order book for 2021 is ahead of this time last year.

The group, which has sites at Manor Mill and Heron Mill in Oldham and 290 employees, has already opted to repay the £465,237 it received under the government's job retention (furlough) scheme and does not intend to make any further claims.

Chief executive Simon Showman said: "Given the significant challenges that Covid -19 initially caused for our business, I am delighted with the resilience of the performance we have delivered in 2020.

"It is a clear testament to the strength and flexibility of our business model, as well as the ability of our people to improvise, adapt and overcome when faced with any challenge.

"It has been humbling to see the way our teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that it has remained business as normal for Ultimate Products, despite a trading environemnt that has been anything but normal."

He said that the consumer response to its brands had continued to strengthen, particularly via supermarket, online and international channels.

Mr Showman added: "Despite the challenges of Covid-19, we have continued to provide a high quality service to our customers and to develop our product range.

Ultimate Products is an owner, manager, designer and developer of a series of well-known brands focused on the home, selling to over 300 retailers across 38 countries.

It has six major product categories - audio; heating and cooling; housewares; laundry; luggage; and small domestic appliances.

Its brands include Beldray (laundry, floor care, heating and cooling), Intempo (audio), Salter (kitchenware), Kleeneze (laundry), and Progress (cookware and bakeware).

Meanwhile, the company is pushing ahead with a recruitment drive as part of an ongoing "local jobs for local people" initiative aimed at providing multiple job opportunities for "the talented people of Oldham".

It has seen the proportion of the company's UK workforce with an Oldham postcode increase to 40 per cent, from nine per cent in 2016.

Group operations and HR director Craig Holden said: "There is a huge amount of talent in Oldham and we hope to give both graduates and non-graduates alike a platform to shine."

Two members of staff making excellent progress at the firm are Jennifer Dodd and Yasir Hussain.

Jennifer, who has successfully completed the company’s graduate scheme, is now the marketing coordinator for the group and has been instrumental in organisiing the business’s local community support during lockdown.

Yasir is a member of the UP Academy, which is an initiative aimed at final year college students who have chosen to start working rather than continue their studies at university.