Up-market stoves-to-cookshops group Aga Rangemaster is feeling the pinch of recession, seeing pre-tax profits last year slashed by half.
They were down from £27m in 2007 to £14.4m last year, and the company says that current orders for stoves are down by 20% on the same time last year.
The group’s stove brands include Aga, Rangemaster, Rayburn and Falcon. It also operates stoves and kitchenware showrooms nationwide, and owns the three Divertimenti cookshops, in London and Cambridge.
The slowdown in sales has seen the group axe some 470 jobs – 12% of the workforce – taking the remaining headcount to under 2,700. Employees’ working hours have also been reduced.
The group said that “the current markets are the least encouraging for many years”.