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Johnstons of Elgin confident despite £4.4m loss in 2020


By Alistair Whitfield

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Johnstons of Elgin say it is currently experiencing a "very robust" recovery despite posting an annual pre-tax £4.4million loss for 2020.

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In results filed today the Moray firm has revealed it recorded sales of £51.7million last year.

This is a reduction of 33% compared to before the pandemic.

However, the company is predicting it will return to profitability by the end of 2021.

Simon Cotton, its chief executive, stated that the company is in a fundamentally strong position to thrive in the future.

He said: "Of course 2020 was a challenging year for the company, but one in which our employees performed admirably, following our Covid protocols to keep each other safe and helping us manage the ups and downs of demand.

"We came out of 2020 with a strong cash position, ready to support our private label customers and to continue our brand expansion and are pleased that we are now seeing opportunities for investment and growth.

"We are currently recruiting a number of new employees in our mills and retail stores, including for our new store at Kildare Outlet village in Ireland which opens in October."

Simon Cotton.
Simon Cotton.

The pandemic forced the company to close its retail stores in London's Bond Street, Edinburgh and St Andrews for long periods, while the reduction in international travel also hurt sales.

In addition, there were disruptions at its manufacturing sites in Elgin and Hawick.

One positive note has been the rise of online sales – www.Johnstonsofelgin.com – which have grown by 46% in 2020.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the company posted a pre-tax profit of £6.4million.


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