Aga cooker sales fall during economic slowdownOrders of Agas fall 15% below last year's figures

21 October 2008

Aga Rangemaster

Aga Rangemaster

Aga Rangemaster has reported a 15% drop in sales below last year's figures.

The 15% decline represents a deepening of the slowdown reported two months ago from Aga Rangemaster, when orders fell 5% over the summer.

The sales of washing machines, fridge-freezers, tumble driers and other large domestic appliances are also at threat, as the decline in home sales reduces the demand.

Reduced demand

An Aga spokesperson said: 'We have increased market share but the market itself has been affected by the fall in the number of housing transactions, and order levels have recently been significantly below last year.'

This has put pressure on a host of major retailers in the sector such as DSG International, which owns Currys and PC World.

Chief executive William McGrath said: 'Consumer markets are clearly weak and the impact of the macro-economic environment is being felt. But we are particularly encouraged with the sales of wood burning cookers and stoves as we see the customer taking a more proactive economical and environmental position in the home.'

The Rayburn model is a cooker that also allows people to heat their home. The sales of the Rayburn range were flat, but with consumers focussing on heating bills and low running costs, the company believes the Rayburn range has 'good prospects'.

Difficult financial times

Matt Stevens, Which? expert on large domestic appliances, said: 'It will be interesting to see how cooker manufacturers respond to the challenges presented by changing consumer demand and the current financial climate.'

The group, which sold its foodservice arm for £265 million last year, makes its flagship Aga ovens at a manufacturing operation at Coalbrookdale near Telford, while Rangemaster products are made at Leamington Spa.

For more information on saving money, read our advice guide on cutting your household bills, or visit our Switch With Which? website to find the best deals on energy suppliers.

For detailed information on choosing the best cooker, read our cooker report, or you may be interested in our built-in oven report with over 40 models on test.

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