Safestyle UK says it is on track for a strong 2021 after ending last year with its order book up 83% on 2019, despite pre-tax losses widening to £6.2m over £3.8m.

Revenue also fell, from £126.2m to £113.2m and gross profit fell from £31.9m to £28.5m but in the year of Covid lockdowns, the retailer saw its market share grow from 8.4% to 9.2% (as measured by Fensa).

The cessation of operations resulted in a £6m loss in the March to May period but this was partly reduced by £1.8m received from the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but this was followed by a strong second half.

CEO Mike Gallacher, said: “I am extremely proud of the way that our colleagues responded to what was a year with unparalleled challenges, at all times keeping a constant focus on health and safety while remaining committed to delivering for our customers.

“Having taken decisive action to support the business during the period, we saw a strong recovery in the second half of the year with good order intake growth and a step up in operational capacity, as customer demand remained robust. By the end of 2020, our order book was 83% larger than 2019’s closing position, which has given us a strong platform to maintain momentum at the beginning of the current financial year in spite of the external disruption.

“Notwithstanding the uncertain operating environment, as a result of the strategic and operational progress we have made along with our strong order book, cash position and market leading brand, the Board now expects the Group’s 2021 financial performance to be significantly ahead of market expectations.”