Profits at Birmingham Jewellery Quarter firm Thomas Walker have come back down to earth following last year's property sale. Pretax profits were £103,000 in the year to June 30, down from £1.7 million the previous year when it sold land and buildings in St Paul ' s Square.
Chairman Bryan Knight said: "A more indicative comparison is at the operating level where the £103,032 should be seen against the underlying 2004 profit of £128,021."
But Thomas Walker, which makes fittings for the clothing industry, said this year's figures were hit by flat textile demand, specifically an absence of the traditional orders build up between January and April for the Autumn and Winter seasons. The final trading result was further reduced by the absorption of non- recurring costs during the second half of the year, it added.
Turnover increased from £ 3.78 millon to £5.265 million. The company added it plans to expand its brass stamping operations to reduce dependence on traditional textile trades. This expansion is seen as a medium term strategy and further step in a continuous diversification towards higher added-value technology longer term.
Mr Knight said there were signs the production of garments to the Far East could be about to turn. He said: "There are perhaps, the first signs of realisation low prices from remote locations do not yield desired flexibility and reliability in supply or quality standards expected by a discerning European public. This might offer relief in the future.
"The personal identity and security trades have maintained volume in the face of increased competition."