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"Style-ish" Windows Reflect Record Profit Growth

Against an extremely challenging UK market, Bradford-based Style Group UK, Britain's largest independent replacement PVCu windows and doors manufacturer and supplier, has bucked industry trends and announced a record operating profit of £7.1m for 2004, a 24.6 per cent increase on the previous year's figure of £5.7m.

The profits growth comes on the back of a consolidated turnover increase of 4.5 per cent and marks the fourth year in succession that performance has improved reflecting the new structures, philosophy and focus being followed by the senior management team. For the second year running sales exceeded 100m.

The underlying profit before tax and dividends shows an impressive and continuous growth for one of Yorkshire's fastest growing companies from 1.493m in 2001, £2.693m in 2002, £5.691 in 2003 to the latest figure for 2004 of £7.090m.

The Style Group UK is the parent company of three specialised subsidiaries including Safestyle UK, the easily recognised double glazing retail arm operating on the back of its award winning celebrity-fronted television and radio advertising campaigns, Windowstyle UK, the constantly developing manufacturing arm and Tradestyle, the supplier to the non fabricating retailers and installers market.

Safestyle's operating profit during the year improved by 4.23 per cent as its brand was further developed. Customer recommendations increased, customer standards improved and a reduction in trade debtors in 2004 confirmed the company is meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

Tradestyle had an excellent year with turnover increasing by 50 per cent taking it to 6m together with a significant increase in profit.

Windowstyle has seen investment continue with the introduction of a glass toughening furnace. The new unit should improve gross margins, shorten lead times and reduce reliance on external suppliers. Glass unit manufacturing equipment has also been replaced and upgraded. The company has increased its profit margin at a time when there is real upward pressure on raw material costs.

John Ross, the Chief Executive of Style Group, outlines the company performance: "Another year of solid progress with the results being achieved against an industry background of uncertainty and reduced consumer confidence. This undoubtedly illustrates the determined efforts of our management team to focus on profit rather than sales."

He continued: "Unlike our competitors, the Group uses television and radio advertising as one of its prime means of securing leads and our success justifies this route to market. We shall continue to grow market share by producing memorable and creative advertising.

"Safestyle is now well established as one of the largest and best known replacement window retailers in the United Kingdom, and that has been reaffirmed this year with increased margins, improved efficiency in our manufacturing processes and tighter control of our overheads. The overall trading performance is highly satisfactory and yet the management team has not relaxed its efforts and we can expect improved results in the future."

Mr. Ross looked at the company's investment projects and commented: "This year also saw increased capital expenditure and we invested 2.8m in new capital projects. By far the largest investment was in the installation of a toughened glass facility at our Barnsley plant and we are confident that this will not only increase our control of the production process by replacing the amount of work undertaken by suppliers but also provide rapid payback and sustainable cost reductions.

"Our Consumer Credit Licence is an important part of our business and in 2004 it was renewed for a five-year term. As part of that application we reviewed our policies relating to product quality, customer service and support facilities for staff, including health and safety training. This has all resulted in significant changes to improve customer service standards and create a better working environment for our staff."

Mr. Ross summed up the year: "The Style Group has always operated a culture of meritocracy by rewarding and promoting our best performers. This year was no exception and a record number of employees advanced their careers. The Group has reached a size where we are creating a large number of career opportunities for top performers in our industry and we continue to attract the best. The Style Group is in good hands and I confidently expect another year of progress in 2005."

28 July 2005

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Safestyle Manufacturing and Logistics, the UK's leading Super-fabricator of high quality, energy saving PVCu double glazing windows and doors
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