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Johnstons of Elgin returns to profit

Scottish cashmere and woollen manufacturer Johnstons of Elgin moved back into the black in 2014, making a £2.3m operating profit compared to a £380,000 loss the year before.

Sales grew 14% to £58.7m during the year, while margins improved as the sales mix benefited from a higher proportion of cashmere and luxury goods. It made a pre-tax profit of £1.8m.

Chief executive Simon Cotton said: “We are pleased to be making steady progress in increasing the value of the product we manufacture, enabling us to improve both revenue and profitability.

“Johnstons has built a 200-year history on creating added value for our customers and we are very proud to be continuing this tradition. Our partnerships with key customers in the luxury sector continue to go from strength to strength based on a common commitment to providing the highest quality in cashmere and other fine fibres.

“We continue to invest heavily in new equipment in both our mills, combining fine hand skills with the latest technology wherever appropriate.”

Cotton added that the order book for 2015 “remains strong”.

The company will open a 2,480 sq ft London flagship store and showroom at 77 New Bond Street this December. It has three stores in Scotland – two based at its mills in Elgin and Hawick and one in St Andrews – and took over the operation of a Johnstons of Elgin store in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in January after the owner retired.

@KirstyMcGregor

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