A market of “challenging trading conditions” has seen Topps Tiles record tumbling profits and sales in its recent full year.
In the 52 weeks to September 30, the tiles specialist said pre-tax profits dropped 15 per cent to £17 million while adjusted pre-tax profit – which excludes one-off costs including vacant property costs – fell 15.5 per cent to £18.6 million.
Like-for-like sales also dipped 2.9 per cent throughout the year, while group revenues decreased 1.5 per cent to £211.8 million.
Despite the touch results, Topps Tiles chief executive Matthew Williams said the retailer “responded well” to the “challenging trading conditions” of 2017.
He said this was done through maintaining tight control of costs to help offset the reduction in gross margin and making good progress with its strategic initiatives.
“Trading in the first eight weeks of the new financial year has improved, with like-for-like sales increasing by 3.2 per cent,” Williams said.
“While we are retaining our prudent view of market conditions for the year ahead, we are encouraged by this return to like-for-like sales growth.
“We are confident that the combination of the significant further potential in our strategy of ‘out-specialising the specialists’ with our accelerated plan to grow in the commercial tile market will underpin our future success.”
During the recent fiscal year, Topps Tiles finalised the £1.1 million acquisition of Parkside Ceramics – a business specialising in the supply of tiles into the commercial sector.
The aim of the deal is to create a new commercial division which will invest around £1 million in the coming year.
In addition, trade sales now account for 55 per cent of Topps Tiles’ total revenue.
Topps Tiles also opened a net 21 new stores during the year, and had 372 stores by the end of the period.