The owner of North Tyneside based Tommee Tippee is celebrating growth in global sales after posting a 45% lift in operating profits.

Mayborn Group, which employs more than 1,200 people around the world, has published accounts for 2018 which draw together sales and profit figures for the entire group, including its baby bottle products under the Tommee Tippee name and sleep brand Gro, which it acquired in December 2017.

Launching Gro products around the world and maintaining its position as number one brand in the UK and Australia helped to grow sales 12% from £165.7m to £185.3m, while operating profit soared by 45% from £13.96m to £20.2m.

The overall profit for the year almost doubled from £4.49m to £8.5m.

A geographical breakdown of revenue showed growth across all areas – the UK, Europe, the Americas, Far East amd Australasia, Africa and the Middle East.

Overall headcount dropped slightly during the year, from 1,309 to 1,237, but the wages bill grew from £58.05m to £30.7m.

During the financial year, the group moved its operations in Cramlington into 30,000sqft of office space at Balliol Business Park.

The firm spent £2m on the building, bringing in designers to transform the building with a park with swings, trees and benches in one breakout area, and meeting rooms themed around the firm’s global offices.

A report within the consolidated accounts said: “During 2018 the group continued to develop its businesses in the UK, China, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America by expanding distribution, developing new innovative products and improving awareness of the brand.

“In February 2018 the group acquired the trade of the distributor in Italy and has taken direct control of that market.”

The directors also note how the firm is working to protect itself during a state of flux for the retail industry on the high street.

The report said: “The retail channels for the baby accessories sector continues to evolve, with consumers continuing to move online. There continues to be challenges for our retail partners on the high street and we are working closely with these partners to mitigate any risks this may present.

“In response to this, the group has established a multi-channel strategy which will enable it to become one of the few branded baby product suppliers with the range and ability to service all retail channels, regardless of where the consumer decides to shop.”

During the year the firm said it had seen strong distribution gains in China after its 2017 launch into the huge market with its shareholder, Shanghai Jahwa, helping it to build a sizeable presence.

Following publication of the results, the group’s CEO Steve Parkin, added: “2018 was another outstanding year for Mayborn as we continue to significantly grow our business whilst making investments to improve the working environment for our people, further develop our innovation pipeline and expand our global footprint further.”

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