The Character Group is citing a ‘satisfactory full year trading report’ for a 2020 plagued with challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic that saw the company with a before tax profit of £5m on a turnover of £105m for the year ending August 31st.
In its financial statement issued today, the firm has acknowledged that forecasts made this time last year for a strong performance through 2020 ‘were not fully realised’ due to the year’s lockdowns and restrictions that have impacted the global economy since March this year.
The report stated that ‘despite the challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group traded satisfactorily.’
Character Group has noted that since the easing of the UK’s first lockdown in early July, as well as in the lead up to Christmas, performance ‘has been tremendous’. The anticipated strengthening and growth of the growth is now expected to be realised in the current financial year.
Strengthened by new distributor lines, as well as key brands developed in-house, Character Options has championed its current portfolio as “one of the strongest and best performing offerings that the Group has gone to market with in recent years.” Among the highlights are Gotta Go Flamingo, which joined the Little Live Pets range, Squeakee the Balloon Dog, and Laser Battle Hunters.
Also strong were the Peppa Pig collection, Pokemon, and Heroes of Goo Jitzu. The launch of the in-house developed InstaGlam into the Shimmer ‘n’ Sparkle collection also had a beneficial effect on the firm’s Arts and Craft category.
Meanwhile, on the topic if Brexit, The Group’s 2018 acquisition of Proxy has ensured the uninterrupted continuity of the Group’s UK operations and its cross-border business with the EU. The mainland UK business will be unaffected by the changes following Brexit, as the imports of its inventories are from the Far East.
Character’s statement ended with an outlook for the next financial year: “The resilience of Character’s performance has arisen from the ability of many of its customers to “effectively service demand by migrating sales from bricks and mortar outlets to online shops and marketplaces, when needed.
“Character’s success in preserving profitability in troubled times and positioning itself to take advantage of the current opportunities has been down to the management’s ability to read and respond to the Group’s fast-evolving market trends.
“The Group has developed an exciting and innovative line of new products, many of which are already in our current catalogue and others are in the pipeline for launch in the New Year.
“Trading in the lead up to Christmas 2020, including during the second UK lockdown, has been significantly ahead of the previous year’s sales and the prospects for the current financial year ending August 2021 are looking extremely positive.”