Linen giant Johnson reports increased demand

Shares of Runcorn-based workwear and textile firm Johnson Service Group (JSG) rose about 6% on Wednesday after it published a trading statement for its Annual General Meeting reporting an increase in demand.

“As expected, trading in the first four months of the year has continued to be impacted by the various lockdown restrictions although we are now beginning to see an increase in demand as restrictions are starting to ease,” said Johnson Service Group.

Workwear volumes in March were some 96% of normal levels and we have seen a slight continuous improvement during April as more businesses were allowed to open …

“We have commenced the commissioning of our new hotel linen plant in Leeds as we plan for increasing volumes.  

“The site is expected to be operational by 17 May, congruent with the anticipated further relaxation of restrictions in England, and will allow us to transfer the work for our Yorkshire based customers that is currently processed in North Wales. 

“Furthermore, the factory locations that were mothballed over the winter months are also now operational, albeit with reduced headcount in line with current volumes.

We continue to be confident in our ability to be agile and responsive to increasing volumes from our customers as the hospitality market recovers over the coming months. 

“Our strong balance sheet means that we are well positioned to continue to invest in the business to support our long-term growth prospects.

As previously announced, Bill Shannon is to retire from the board at the conclusion of the AGM.  

“At the same time, Jock Lennox, who was appointed to the board on 5 January 2021 as an independent non-executive director and chair designate, will become chair of the JSG Board. 

“The board would like to thank Bill for his significant input and counsel during his years as both a non-executive director and latterly as chairman.”