Crown Paints profit rise

Darwen-based Crown Paints, one of the county’s flagship companies which dates back to the 18th century, has reported an increase in both sales and profits.

The company weathered what it described as an unprecedented rise in the cost of raw materials – up to £94m for the year – to increase profit from £13.8m in 2010 to £15.1m in 2011. The improvement came on the back of a leap in sales, up from £170.5m to £177.4m.

A director’s report said: “The company has continued to make good progress and exceeded expectations despite the difficult economic climate which included unprecedented rises in raw material prices and the loss of a significant retail customer which went into administration early in the year.

“Despite all of this, turnover returned a modest growth. The main risks and uncertainties facing the company are principally related to the slowdown and further reductions in consumer spending on home improvements and further reductions in the construction related industry as the government policies impact.”

Crown employs around 1,200 staff at its head office in Darwen and a second manufacturing site in Hull alongside distribution hubs in Warrington, Belfast and Dublin.