Johnson, Runcorn linen giant, ups revenue 22%

Runcorn-based workwear and textile firm Johnson Service Group (JSG) said its revenue in the first four months of the year amounted to £135 million, 22% higher than 2022 which was still impacted by COVID-19. 

JSG said it expects to report full year operating profit slightly ahead of current market expectations.

In an AGM statement, JSG said: “Organic revenue growth in the same period, which comprises both price increases and volume, was 6.4% in Workwear and 30.3% in HORECA (hotel, restaurant and catering).

Within HORECA, organic growth includes the installation of a further 7,800 new rooms in the first four months in our Hotel Linen business as volume continues to improve.

We are continuing to closely manage our cost base and have increased the proportion of the expected usage of gas and electricity that is at fixed prices to 85% and 87% respectively in the first half and 74% and 68% respectively in the second half of 2023.  

“However, we continue to expect that energy costs will be a higher percentage of revenue in the current year as hedging benefits enjoyed in 2022 roll off and average pricing remains elevated.

“The share buyback programme for up to £27.5 million excluding expenses announced in September 2022 ends today, in line with the current buyback authority. 

“In addition to the £5.6 million deployed in 2022 a further £19.7 million has been deployed in 2023 bringing the total, as at close of business on 3 May 2023, to £25.3 million, excluding expenses.  

“The board will continue to review its capital allocation in line with the group’s stated policy.

Notwithstanding continuing cost pressures, we anticipate that, assuming the trading environment remains unchanged, we will report full year operating profit slightly ahead of current market expectations.”