(Alliance News) - Ultimate Products PLC on Tuesday announced increased revenue, profit and a higher dividend in its latest year, despite a difficult macroeconomic climate and "persistent cost inflation".

The Manchester-based owner of homeware brands, including Salter and Beldray, said pretax profit for the year ended July 31 increased 3.5% to GBP16.0 million from GBP15.8 million a year earlier.

Revenue meanwhile increased 7.9% to a "record" GBP166.3 million from GBP154.2 million. Ultimate Products, formerly named UP Global Sourcing Holdings PLC, said it achieved this "with no overall price inflation" so that products remained affordable for consumers.

"This is a fantastic achievement for our business, particularly given the tough macroeconomic backdrop," said Chief Executive Simon Showman. "Our homeware brands and products are used by households on a daily basis, and we have worked extremely hard to make sure that we maintain affordable prices for all consumers. We are hugely proud that we have achieved this despite persistent cost inflation."

Sales to retailers decreased to GBP124.9 million but online revenue increased 64% to GBP41.4 million, with Showman calling the business "a standout performer...particularly in the UK."

Cost of sales increased 6.7% to GBP123.6 million, while total administrative expenses increased 16% to GBP25.6 million.

Cash and equivalents meanwhile totalled GBP5.1 million at July 31, down from GBP6.2 million on the same day last year. Cash generated from operating activities swelled to GBP24.4 million from GBP6.8 million.

Ultimate Products expects results for the current financial year to meet current market expectations.

Showman added: "I am confident that the experience we have gained in optimising [the online] part of our business will be hugely valuable as we continue scaling our European e-commerce business, where sales are already growing strongly."

Shares in Ultimate Products were up 5.3% at 120.00 pence in London on Tuesday.

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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