Innovation takes sting off £1m operating loss

Gateshead-based heating appliance manufacturer, Rettig (UK), has reported a loss of more than £1m

Gateshead-based heating appliance manufacturer, Rettig (UK), has reported a loss of more than £1m.

But the Team Valley-headquartered company, which prides itself on finding innovative ways of staying ahead of its competitors, says it is well positioned to benefit from an improving economy.

Rettig (UK), a subsidiary of Finnish company Rettig Capital Oy Ab, is a leading manufacturer of steel panel radiators.

It also makes fan converters and distributes a host of Rettig products, including valves and controls, decorative, radiators, towel rails and under-floor heating systems.

Recently published financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2012, show an operating loss for the financial year of around £1.1m, compared £659,000 in 2011.

Turnover was also down 6%, going from around £69.6m in 2011 to £65.3m, but a directors’ report accompanying the figures said Rettig took an increased share of the market despite “extremely tough” trading conditions.

“This reflects the present difficulties faced by the construction industry in the company’s main markets of the UK and Ireland,” the report said.

“However, in keeping with the company’s strategy of finding new, innovative ways of staying ahead of its competitors a new electric radiator was developed for launch early in 2013.

“This product has been well received and is also expected to appeal in export markets.

“Sales of the new wall-mounted fan convector launched towards the end of 2011 are also growing and the directors are optimistic that further new business can be generated in previously untapped markets.”

Continued uncertainty was making forecasting difficult and the threat from competitors and surplus capacity on the supply side meant selling prices were weak.

In response, the directors continued to focus on customer service levels and improved cost management.

“Relationships with key customers remain strong and the company’s service offering is at the very highest levels,” the report said.

“Further product development is planned during 2013 to maintain the company’s market-leading position as a one-stop supplier.”

The report said the company’s balance sheet remained strong, but that, since markets remained depressed, another challenging year of trading was anticipated.

No one from Rettig (UK) was available for comment.

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