Decline in UK sales overshadows Ultraframe results as pre-tax profit falls from £28.1m to £3.6m.

Conservatory manufacturer Ultraframe has suffered a 87% falll in pre-tax profit following a 18% decline in UK sales. Pre-tax profit was £3.6m for the year ended 1 Oct compared to £28.1.m in 2003. Turnover fell from £139.1m to £118.2m.

Chairman Rod Sellers chairman said: 'While the Group results are in line with the statement we made in August, the past year has clearly been disappointing in terms of operational performance.

Ultraframe said that the UK market continued to be volatile and competitive. Sellers said: “'In the new financial year, the competitive environment in the UK remains challenging and we do not expect that it will improve in the first half.”

“Overall, the rate of decline in profitability before goodwill and exceptionals in 2005 should be less than in 2004.”

In the US, core sunroom sales for the years were up 4.5%. There was a 4.&% decline in the Group’s franchise network but Ultraframe said this was balanced by strong growth in the company-owned retail stores where sales almost doubled.

The results include an exceptional charge of £5.3m for a US litigation, which Ultraframe is hoping to win on appeal.