ashwoodUpholstery manufacturer Ashwood Designs built sales momentum last year, with owners saying the firm had benefited from its investment in plant and people.

The Aberdare, South Wales producer grew sales by 45.8 per cent to £9.4m in the year to end April, building on 13 per cent top line growth the previous year. It was its highest sales since 2010.

Director Richard Smart, who co-owns the business with Stuart Youngs, said Ashwood’s growth was “the result of a strategic approach to the company over the past year.”

He said: “Investments have been made in both plant and people.

"The year began with the installation of a full Gerber cutter and CAD system, which has increased development output and product quality.”

Mr Smart added that training grants had also been achieved, enabling management training at every level from the shop-floor to director level, while extensive lean manufacturing thinking has been employed throughout the site.

“Growth has seen the footprint of the factory increase and with several new key personnel on board we are in a good position for the challenges ahead,” Mr Smart said.

Pre-tax profit was up 55.3 per cent to £442,448 year-on-year.

* all figures from the consolidated accounts of the holding company Hulst Ltd