The range cooker maker said it managed to narrow its pretax loss to
"Our markets have picked up but remain inconsistent and variable. Uncertainties around mortgage availability and interest rates are a contributing factor. Even so, the willingness of consumers choosing to spend money on kitchen appliances has increased in the
Revenue in the first six months of the year rose 3.3% to
However, the group's pension scheme also remains a significant burden. The company has a large pension scheme relative to the size of its overall business, and it has been warning about the costs of funding the scheme for several years. It hasn't paid a dividend for two years, having agreed with the scheme's trustees to halt payouts as it tries to reduce the deficit, which stood at
"The weak performance in
"The indicators are encouraging that we will see a higher revenue growth rate in the second half bringing improved trading results for the year".
At the half year order intake was up 6%, driven by strong order intake of its Rangemaster cookers in the
The company said that its AGA Marvel North American subsidiary saw sales volumes up more than 10% in the first-half, while Fired Earth had a strong sale period leaving order intake so far this year up over 14%.
The company's Fired Earth business - which makes kitchen and bathroom fittings likes sinks and taps, as well as wall and floor coverings - was particularly hard hit by the downturn, but returned to profitability in 2013 for the first time for several years.
Its furniture making business Grange, has on the other hand continues to struggle. It said it saw a "satisfactory" trading performance in
The group has been investing in new products and marketing, however is also trying to drive growth organically by expanding in international markets like
"This autumn should see our first sales to consumers in
Last month, the group launched its new AGA product, AGA City60, designed for "city living" like apartments and terraced houses, which it hopes will broaden its market and customer base.
"We now have the market wind behind us and the product and distribution in place to benefit. The AGA City60, in particular, can grab the attention of new urban consumers and is an important ingredient to our growth plans," said Chief Executive
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