Pre-tax losses at Manchester printer and signage maker Grafenia have jumped from £1.2m to £3.2m for the year ended March 2019.
This was despite revenue rising to £16m from £14.6m the year before. Staff costs at the company, which is based on Trafford Park in Manchester, rose from £4.6m to £6.1m and operating costs were up from £3m to £3.5m. There was an EBITDA loss of £1.1m, down from a £771,000 profit the year before.
“Importantly, these results include several cost items that are either one-time in nature, or constitute up-front costs, rather than ongoing operating costs,” said chairman Jan-Hendrik Mohr.
“An example of a one-time cost is the improvement program in our finance function. As we have discussed on previous occasions, we decided to improve our financial capabilities to support our strategy.”
CEO Peter Gunning added: ”Despite our increase in size, we believe we are still too small to be a plc as we currently stand. As well as building our company stores organically, we have an acquisition strategy. This is centred around rolling up the signs sector.
“There are lots of reasons why we think this makes sound industrial logic, and these businesses are a natural extension of our product range. And we sell to the same kind of clients.
“So far, we’ve acquired a couple of smaller sign businesses. With both, we’ve combined them with a Nettl studio team and relocated them to create new Nettl Business Superstores. That’s likely to happen again. Other Nettl partners have expressed an interest in joining Grafenia, as we roll-out future Superstores.”
For the year to March 2020, Grafenia expects to break even on EBITDA, while it expects margins of 10% to 15% over the medium term.