// Topps Tiles hails resilience with broadly flat full year results
// Retailer says run up to general election has led to challenging trading conditions
// Topps Tiles CEO Matt Williams will step down as planned on November 29
The UK’s largest tile specialist saw profit before tax drop 1.6 per cent year-on-year in the 52 weeks to September 28.
Group revenue came in 1.1 per cent higher year-on-year at £219.2 million, while like-for-like revenue came in at flat at £214.3 million.
READ MORE: Topps Tiles CEO Matt Williams steps down
Topps Tiles said its strategy of “Out-specialising the Specialists” remains a key focus, with its new omni-channel website launching at the stat of October.
The flat results were attributed to weakened consumer demand in the wake of the General Election, with revenue down 7.2 per cent for the first eight weeks of the new financial period.
The retailer stated that “a reduction in political uncertainty will be key to the short term outlook improving”.
“This has been another year of strategic progress for Topps, with a resilient sales performance in our retail business and significant development in our commercial operations,” said outgoing chief executive Matthew Williams.
“In retail, our strategy of ‘Out-specialising the Specialists’ enabled us to deliver like-for-like sales growth and further enhance our market-leading gross margins in tough market conditions. In commercial, we saw significant year-on-year sales growth as we continue to invest in constructing a market-leader over the medium term.
Looking ahead, Williams noted:
“At the start of the new financial year, trading conditions have become more challenging, with consumer demand weakening further since the General Election was called in late October. Against this backdrop of heightened political and economic uncertainty, like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks have declined. Whilst we expect external events will continue to weigh on consumer confidence for the immediate future, we remain confident that our market-leading retail offer and growing commercial operations give us a strong platform from which to deliver sustainable growth over the medium and long term.”
At the start of November Williams said he would resign on November 29.
Having spent 12 years as the business’s chief executive, Williams will be replaced by current chief financial officer Rob Parker.