Investment in staff and infrastructure

Morph suits maker reports £1m loss

Morphsuits HalloweenAFG Media, the company behind the MorphCostumes fancy dress outfits, has reported a near-£1 million loss after investing in staff and infrastructure.

The Edinburgh-based firm has been growing into a global business since it was founded in 2009 and now operates in 29 countries.

In a change of year-end the company reported turnover of £15.2 million for the 18 months to 30 November 2015, compared with £10.1m in the 12 months to 31 May 2014.

The period covered by the accounts showed a pre-tax loss widening from £163,000 to £967,000.

Operating losses – which strip out interest payments, finance costs and amortisation of goodwill – stood at £131,000 compared with an operating profit of £219,000 in the previous period.

The period covered by the accounts includes the company’s most-successful Halloween sales so far, with costumes including Marvel’s Deadpool and Star Wars’ Stormtroopers proving popular.

Gregor Lawson, co-founder and sales and marketing director at AFG Media, said: “This period saw us launch further market-leading costumes, expand into new territories and launch a broader range of non-spandex costumes globally. 

“The cost of launching additional costumes, alongside investment in people and infrastructure were made in support of our transition into a global costume business.

“While this investment has resulted in a loss for the period, we believe we have now built the required scale necessary to capitalise on the opportunities available in the wider non-spandex costume market across a number of channels.” 

AFG Media was founded by Lawson alongside brothers Ali and Fraser Smeaton.

BGF (Business Growth Fund), the independent provider of growth capital, invested £4.2m in the company four years ago to help it expand its range of costumes and to grow overseas sales.

Ben Barker, BGF investor and AFG Media board member, said:  “”The global retail party goods market is worth as much as $10 billion each year.

“By continuing to invest in the MorphCostumes brand and products, the team at AFG Media are demonstrating that they are as ambitious as ever and they are building a company that is well positioned to grow its slice of this exciting sector.” 

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