Beauty and lifestyle products manufacturer Creightons, which has 340 staff in Lincoln Road, Werrington, had endured a £400,000 hit in delayed sales after the Covid-19 outbreak.
An emergency board decision to divert some of the manufacturing process to the production of hand sanitisers and a hand cream based sanitant brought its own rise in sales.
The rapid action helped drive revenue up 8.6 per cent to £44.7 million compared to the previous year’s £44 million, according to the company’s preliminary results for the year to March 31.
Profits for the same period rose by £300,000 to £3.2 million compared to £2.9 million a year earlier.
Chairman William McIlroy said: “Sales in March 2020 were adversely impacted by approximately £400,000 due to Covid-19 related delays and cancelled orders.
“Whilst the company has faced a number of challenges since the outbreak of Covid-19 and has incurred significant costs associated with managing the risks, it has also found opportunity to deliver product types currently in demand.
“In particular, the company has been able to introduce its new Pure Touch brand of hand sanitisers and hand washes and a newly developed anti-viral alcohol-free hand cream.
He added: “Trading to July 31 is ahead of last year, which has enabled the Group to absorb the increased costs and risks associated with the pandemic.”
The firm’s figures also show that sales of retailer-own label products sales rose by 29.8 per cent, while its own branded sales grew by 18.3 per cent with overseas sales rising by 43.4 per cent to £7.2 million. In addition, a brand the firm acquired for £500,000 generated £1.2 million sales.
Bernard Johnson, managing director, said: “The team across the Group has performed exceptionally well to cope with challenges and pressures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They have enabled the Group to respond rapidly to the changes; resurrecting and developing new products at pace, scouring the world for components and enabling the Group to meet the changing demand.
“The strong financial position of the Group has allowed it fund these changes, whilst supporting some customers through a difficult period.
“We are glad to say that the team has continued to grow and develop, and we have lost no customers.”
Creightons is looking to pay shareholders a final dividend 0.50p per ordinary share compared to 0.40p last year.