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Topps Tiles gains share in tough market

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Tile retailer Topps Tiles has today reported a small rise in like-for-like (LFL) trading but a slight fall in profits for its last half-year period.

An interim management statement shows LFL revenue for the retailer increased 1.8 per cent year-on-year in the 26 weeks to April 2nd 2011, but total sales growth dipped 2.5 per cent over the same period.

Investments in new stores and the start of construction of a warehouse facility at its Leicestershire headquarters led to capital expenditure of £1.6 million over the half, and adjusted profit before tax fell from £7.8 million in 2010 to £7.2 million.

Matthew Williams, CEO of Topps Tiles, said: “I consider this to have been a robust performance, in light of the prevailing economic conditions and in comparison to our sector peers.

“We are encouraged with these results, which demonstrate growth in LFL sales and gross margin over the period, and are in line with management’s expectations.

“We remain committed to our strategy of delivering outstanding value and service to our customers which will enable us to retain our market leading position.”

Despite sluggish sales over the last six months Topps Tiles has remained the market leader in the UK non-contract tile industry, increasing its share from 24 per cent to 25.5 per cent.

It is well known that consumer demand for discretionary spend items is currently very low but the retailer hopes to slowly increase its store portfolio by around eight properties this year having grown from 309 to 319 outlets since April last year.

Williams added: “LFL sales growth across the period has given us confidence to continue investing in infrastructure to drive longer term growth and to increase marketing spend to continue to promote our brand.

“Current trading results reflect a more cautious approach amongst our consumers but we remain confident that we will continue to deliver our financial and operational objectives”.

In May the company announced that former Conservative MP Michael Jack was to become its new Chairman after the long serving Barry Bester stepped down from the role.

A new £75 million revolving credit facility through to May 2015 was negotiated during the half, net debt fell by £7.7 million to total £50 million and the firm has set an interim dividend of 0.5 pence per share.

Published on Wednesday 01 June by Editorial Assistant

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