Furniture maker hit hard by rising costs

A rise in costs mixed with the highly competitive furniture market have joined forces to hit the profit margin of a producer of high-end office furniture based in Surrey during a year full of reorganisation and consolidation, hard.

Privately-owned furniture enterprise, Sven Christiansen, has steadily grown since its early days as a partnership in 1974. Now, the company designs and produces conference and meeting tables, office desk systems and screens, reception desks, and wall storage systems.

It is run out of Guildford, with a showroom and headquarters. There is another showroom in Cumbernauld, Scotland, and the enterprise is rounded up with a plant in Kingswinford, in the West Midlands. A London Design Studio in Clerkenwell is slated to open later this year, as well.

A revenue of £12.22 million (USD$15.13 million) in the financial year to 30th September 2016 was documented, a slight rise from the £12.19 (USD$15.1 million) recorded the year before.

But a highly competitive market, bump in production costs and an increased uncertainty in exchange rates in the last quarter of 2016 caused the pre-tax profits to drop from £USD337,476 (USD$417,975) to £229,127 (USD$283,781).

When managing director Andrew Ralph sold his share of the organisation in May 2016, the enterprise went through a time of restructuring as well. Now, the business is owned in its entirety by Sven Group Ltd.

The empty post of managing director was filled by William O’Brien, and Chris Plumb and Paul Johnson were elected onto the board of directors as the finance director and sales director respectively.

There are an estimated 200 staff member employed by Sven, ranging from production to management, and distribution and sales.

Source: Insider Media Limited