• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Macnaughton bullish about prospects of future growth

MACNAUGHTON Holdings, the kilt to fabrics business, has said it is on course to record another year of strong growth as the company capitalises on buoyant trading conditions at home and overseas.

Managing director Blair Macnaughton said the company has grown sales ahead of budget in recent months following strong performances in key markets including the UK, America and Russia.

With the global economic recovery now apparently firmly established, Mr Macnaughton believes the prospects for the privately-owned company are brighter than they have been for years.

"I am resonably bullish, I don't see it slowing down," said Mr Macnaughton.

He noted demand for Highland Wear and related products has been boosted by the publicity surrounding the forthcoming Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

However, Perth-based Macnaughton Holdings voiced concerns about the implications of the forthcoming referendum on independence in Scotland.

In the latest accounts for the firm filed at Companies House, Macnaughton Holdings said: "At the present time there is an ­additional risk/uncertainty in relation to operating a business in Scotland.

"That risk/uncertainty is due to Scotland's forthcoming independence referendum and it's many unanswered questions."

Mr Macnaughton cited lack of clarity about what currency Scotland would use if it became independent and the potential impact on trade with customers based south of the border.

He highlighted the improvement in the company's performance following a long period during which it battled tough economic conditions.

In the first five months of this year Macnaughton has increased sales by more than the six per cent annual rate targeted.

The company increased sales by eight per cent in the year to January, to £4.2 million from £3.9m. Exports made up around 44 per cent of sales in both years.

The sales growth helped Macnaughton more than double pre-tax profits to £238,000 in the latest year from £110,000 in the preceding period.

Demand for the kilts Macnaughton makes in Paisley has improved in the UK, but the trend for people to rent rather than buy may limit growth.

Macnaughton Holdings has a licence to produce goods in the Glasgow 2014 tartan.

Mr Macnaughton is excited about the company's growth prospects in key export markets. "North America is extremely buoyant for us," he said.

Sales to Russia more than doubled in the latest year. The country is Macnaughton Holdings' most profitable overseas market.

The company has won strong demand there for the furniture fabrics it makes in Keith, Aberdeenshire.

The problems in the Crimea and Ukraine do not appear to have impacted on sales.

A boom in hotel building in the Middle East could boost demand for fabrics.

Regarding the forthcoming referendum on independence for Scotland, Mr Macnaughton said: "We are a multi-currency company and we have no fear of operating in a Scottish pound or the Euro but the risk to us as we have such a large number of customers in England, the worry is, are they going to want to deal with a foreign supplier."

Mr Macnaughton said he would prefer Scotland to remain in the UK but had no plans to move production out of the country if there is a yes vote.

Mr Macnaughton led a buy-out of the business in 1987 from other family members. He is a member of the seventh generation of his family to run the business.

Contextual targeting label: 
Business

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

244733