A Tayside furniture manufacturer who made 40 staff redundant earlier in the year is set to “weather the covid” storm.
However, the firm has warned normal business activity may not return until May.
JTC Furniture Group in Dundee supplies kitchens, bedrooms bathrooms across a range of sectors, including social housing.
The firm also has a presence in the growing student accommodation sector, as well as education and healthcare facilities.
Newly-filed accounts show turnover at JTC Furniture Group rise by 4.3% from £25 million in 2018, to £26m for the year ending December 31, 2019.
Pre-tax profits dipped slightly from £463,000, to £433,600 over the reporting period.
Director Gordon Linton, said while the firm had enjoyed a good financial year in 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic had made it “feel like a long time ago” but the company remained in a strong position.
He said: “Pre-pandemic, things were all going in the right direction and it was a good year and since Covid-19 we have had to change a lot of things around.
“We had to shrink the business down to match the size of the market – we service the construction industry which technically stopped, but we have traded our way through this.”
In May, the company warned its workforce their jobs were at risk with fears up to 70 staff could be made redundant.
However, measures put in place including moving to a four-day week and using the UK Government furlough scheme helped reduce the figure to between 40 and 50.
The company operates from one of Dundee’s largest factories, occupying the 170,000 sq ft former-Timex building in Harrison Road, with another unit in the Manhattan Works complex on Dundonald Street.
Mr Linton said: “Because we do a lot of essential services for hospitals, schools and councils, we were only shut for about three and a half weeks but had to come back to a much smaller scale.
“Because of social distancing we couldn’t put the same number of people in the factory that we could have done a year ago so we have had to scale down.
“Our turnover this year has gone down like everyone else in the year of a pandemic, but we have traded well to come through this and we will post a profit again this year – we have actually done very well to be where we are today.”
Mr Linton commended staff at the firm working through what he described as the “hardest trading conditions” he had seen before and the reality of a pandemic.
“If someone said in March we would be where we are now, I’d have bitten their hand off and that’s based on what we have done and how we have worked through this.
“Our markets are large jobs for customers such as councils and the need for new housing has increased, bringing increased demand for kitchens for example.
“For businesses like us, we are well-placed to get back to normality when the market comes back, but that might not be until around May next year.”
Mr Linton said staff , including directors were told to “dig in” at the start of the pandemic and “ride the storm out and be ready to come out the other side and that’s what has happened.
“A lot of hard decisions have had to be made.”
JTC Furniture Group currently employs around 170 staff across the business.