Losses widened at a historic Fife-based manufacturer of premium paints last year.
Craig & Rose – which was established in 1829 by two young Scottish entrepreneurs James Craig & Hugh Rose – has had its manufacturing plant at Halbeath by Dunfermline since 2000.
Recognised as the UK’s oldest paint firm, for more than a century the firm supplied the iconic red paint for the never-ending job of painting the Forth Bridge.
The company was acquired by Australia-based paint giant Dulux in 2016.
Newly published financial accounts show Craig & Rose’s sales increased from £2.9 million in 2017 to £3.7m for the year ending September 30.
Pre-tax losses increased from £3.4m to £4m as the firm opened two retail shops. Staffing numbers rose from 41 to 59 during the financial year.
In his strategic report, company director John Smith said: “Whilst the company operated at a loss for the period, Craig & Rose Ltd remains on track for its aggressive investment cycle into the UK market.
“Following extensive research and as part of the UK strategy, the company launched two new retail stores (London and Edinburgh) in May 2018, where the business works directly with its customers on their decorative projects.
“Since launch both stores have generated revenue above the company’s initial expectations.”
At the time of the acquisition, Dulux said the purchase of Craig & Rose gave it an established foothold in the UK market with manufacturing capabilities for a “relatively small” fee, believed to be £4.81m.
Digital sales during the year increased by 50% to £181,000.
Mr Smith added: “Since the brand relaunch in August 2016, the Craig & Rose brand has further increased distribution within key accounts.
“As part of our digital strategy, the company revitalised the website in July 2018, post this period we are also seeing positive trends on revenue generation for this investment.
“The company closed the year with a positive outlook for the future.”
In the past, Craig & Rose has also supplied paint for St Paul’s Cathedral in London, palaces around the world and the South American Railway.