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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Aga exports cook up record profit
Front of an early Aga cooker
Aga cookers are in many of the UK's country homes and town flats
Kitchen equipment firm Aga Foodservice, famous for its upmarket country stoves, has seen growing foreign demand boost its half-year profit to record levels.

Pre-tax profit rose 11% to 20m ($37.4m) during the six months to 30 June, Aga said. Out of 6,500 cookers sold, 2,300 went abroad, it added.

Aga said France, Ireland and the US were the current hot markets for its iconic Rangemaster cookers.

Foreign growth helped the Shropshire firm offset a slowdown in UK sales.

Determined efforts

"Aga and Rangemaster are now well established forces in the premium appliance market and the combination of international expansion, product innovation and strong routes to market all helped drive growth," the firm said.

"Even against a slow UK consumer backdrop, record profits were achieved."

Aga has stores across Europe and is breaking into the Australian and Chinese markets.

It is also looking to build on its key overseas markets in France and the US.

"Our determined efforts to develop new markets for our cookers are proving effective and we expect to see further growth in the second half," the company said.

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