The financial year ending 26th June 2020, was a year unlike any other for Royal Warrant holder, Hypnos, part of Keen and Toms Holdings. Like many other brands in the UK, Hypnos Group experienced some difficult trading conditions during this period thanks to a national election, Brexit uncertainty and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conditions which saw all group operations temporarily closed, and manufacturing suspended, for six weeks during the first national lockdown in March 2020.
Whilst order intake levels remained strong and above budget through the Coronavirus pandemic, the mattress industry’s supply chain struggled to keep up with the increased level of demand placed on it, and lead times for components across many furniture manufacturers increased through 2020.
Despite the impact of this, the British-based family company, which operates under Hypnos Ltd and Hypnos Contract Beds Ltd, has much to celebrate.
Financially, the Hypnos Group reports a reduction in statutory loss to £500,548 (2019 £994,863) with an underlying profit significantly higher at £1,573,022 for the year. Margins improved by some 1% across the business and tighter financial controls enabled the Group to generate cash of £3,095,794 from operating activities. However, the real triumphs for Hypnos have been the sustainable accolades the luxury bed brand achieved during the year.
In 2019 the Group appointed a Director of Sustainable Development. The role was especially developed to meet Hypnos’ ambitious ongoing commitment to put sustainability at the centre of the company’s product development, continuing to focus on naturally farmed, chemically-free and recyclable materials, and to oversee its extensive and growing sustainable activity in support of the company’s wider low carbon, responsible and ethical business practices.
2019 also welcomed the launch of Hypnos’ Origins Collection, a range which saw the Group develop a unique and industry first collaboration with Red Tractor. This partnership means that, for the first time in the UK, a manufacturer can trace the wool it uses back to a British farm, audited by an independent well respected 3rd party organisation.
Hypnos has been on an extensive wool sourcing journey, which started with the company being one of the first supporters of the global initiative for The Campaign for Wool. With a longstanding drive to ethically source its materials, the company has always pushed to understand the origins of where its wool is coming from, if it’s been grown responsibly on land and soil that’s well managed, and with animals that are looked after.
As a result, Hypnos has committed to buying wool from selected Red Tractor Assured British farmers at a fair price so that the farmers can better understand their revenues and invest in a more sustainable and reliable future. The Origins Collection also uses the most responsibly sourced cotton, with traceability reinforced by unique partnerships with the Better Cotton Initiative and CottonConnect.
In April 2020 the business’s achievements were recognised when it was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for its pioneering commitment to its sustainable and ethical strategy. This respected achievement is the second Queen’s Award for the company, following its 2017 win for International Trade.
Highly celebrated, the Queen’s Award is only given to those who can demonstrate outstanding sustainability achievements and whose environmentally-sound products and management of the company benefits the environment, society and the economy. Indeed, Hypnos’ beds are some of the most sustainable in the industry being 100% foam free and 100% recyclable now for over a decade, meaning its beds need never go to landfill sites.
In addition, the company’s sustainable sleep mission has seen them hold a carbon neutral certificate for 10 years, making them the first and the longest running bed manufacturer in the world to have held this achievement.
James Keen, chief executive officer at Hypnos, said “Despite the incredibly challenging climate we found ourselves in throughout 2019 and 2020, we couldn’t be prouder of our achievements.
“Sustainability is and has continued to be at the heart of everything we do, and we’re not afraid to challenge the way the bed industry does things for the benefit of the environment and communities both in the UK and around the world.
“We will continue to push the boundaries, and 2021 and beyond will see us announce more ground-breaking initiatives in line with our Vision to be ‘the world’s most sustainable and aspirational sleep brand’”
2020 also saw investment continue at the Group’s white glove home delivery business, Keen and Able Ltd, across warehousing, people and systems to cater for the changing nature of the industry and evolving consumer buying preferences.
John Woolley, Hypnos’ Group managing director, concluded: “The financial year ending 26th June 2020 will be forever remembered by the unique challenges it presented to our industry and the economy as a whole.
“Many of the issues we experienced with supply throughout 2020 have now been resolved through expanding our supplier base for raw materials domestically and overseas, simplifying our product range and enhancing our planning processes to enable quicker reactions to raw material shortages.
“We believe that our approach to continued investment in traceable natural and sustainable materials, low-carbon product development, the Hypnos brand, manufacturing efficiencies, property consolidation, technology and its people has given us a solid platform for growth over the coming years.”