East Lancashire furniture firm sees profits slump but overseas growth

First published in Altham Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FURNITURE company Senator International has announced a sharp reduction in profits but says it is ‘encouraged’ by its overseas growth.

The company, based at Altham Business Park, employs more than 1,000 staff, making it the largest private employer in the area.

Financial results for 2010 show pre-tax profits £552,000, down from £2m for the previous 12 months with the company’s directors citing a ‘difficult trading year’ but describing the firm’s performance as ‘satisfactory’.

Turnover at the firm, which is the UK’s largest office furniture manufacturer, was up marginally at £92.2m.

Sales at the group’s US subsidiary were up at £6.6m with the company noting ‘strong trading performance in the second half of the year’.

In January, Senator, which was founded in 1977, announced an expansion, including a new warehouse, recycling facilities, workshops and canteen.

It came after the firm won a £3.5million contract to provide seating to furnish a Saudi Arabian university.

Building work upped the capacity of the Whalley Road premises to 600,000 square feet.

The firm, which comprises three brands – Senator, Torasen and Allermuir– also acquired Teal Furniture for £9M in 2009, relocating it to Darwen.

The directors at Senator added: “The group’s financial position remains exceptionally good, with a strong balance sheet.

“We will continue to review the group’s operations and cost base, while at the same time continuing to improve the product range, market share and profitability.”

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