Speciality paper and materials group James Cropper has reported its FY2023 results.
In the 12 months to 1 April 2023, the company reported sales of almost £130 million, up from £105 million in the prior year. It said the increase was driven by organic volume growth, price increases and the energy surcharge applied to counter energy and raw material cost increases.
Adjusted operating profit rose by 4% to £4.8 million. This came despite a 22% increase in the operating loss at the Paper Products division to £2.8 million. In the first half of the financial year, the unit suffered considerable machine downtime, which resulted in a significant uptick in repairs and maintenance expenditure in the year.
In April, Kendal-based James Cropper announced a restructuring of its Paper division, with the closure of a machine contributing to a 10% reduction in company headcount. Chairman Mark Cropper called this a “hard choice”, but one that was “essential to address years of headwinds and margin pressures and create a more resilient, profitable business”.
In his results review, CEO Steve Adams noted: “Within the Paper division, demand in many of our traditional volume areas – such as files and folders, commercial print and stationery papers – has declined as those sectors continued to move away from paper to digital or they prove to no longer be economically viable.
“We are taking this opportunity to right-size our business, streamlining our portfolio and service offer to be much more aligned on high-value partnerships. In particular, we are focusing our offer on luxury packaging and premium creative papers, where our customers really value our innovation, expertise and quality.”
The company is in the process of reorganising and renaming its operating structure. It will move from three separate divisions to four market-facing segments under the James Cropper brand: Creative Papers, Luxury Packaging, Technical Fibres and Future Energy.