M&S woes hit home at Dewhirst

 

Troubles at Marks & Spencer hurt garment manufacturer Dewhirst Group in the first half. The High Street giant's woes sent the Yorkshire-based manufacturer's interim profits tumbling.

Marks & Spencer orders provide about 90% of Dewhirst's business.

The company said volumes remain relatively constant and the order book is healthy, but already pressurised margins are likely to be squeezed further towards the year end.

'Looking forward, price deflation will continue to be a factor in the second half,' said chairman Tim Dewhirst.

Margins fell to 5.5% in the first half and declining revenues also cut into Dewhirst's bottom line. The company saw pre-tax profits in the six months to 16 July decline 22.3% to £10.1 million on sales down 3.4% to £184.5 million. The dividend remains unchanged at 1.45p.

The firm said it was sticking by its major customer and was confident a turnaround was under way.

'The board's strategy remains unchanged. Our main clothing division remains dedicated to and focused on Marks & Spencer and we have every confidence in their future success,' Dewhirst added.