// Topps Tiles slumps to £9.8m pre-tax loss for the year to September 26, compared to profit of £12.5m last year
// On an underlying basis, pre-tax profits plunged 78% to £3.6 million, compared to £16m a year earlier
// Like-for-like sales dropped 12.5% over the year, but trading bounced back after lockdown
Topps Tiles has slumped to an annual loss after taking a hit of around £16 million from coronavirus, but cheered rebounding sales thanks to a boom in DIY activity.
The home improvement retailer said the impact of the three-month, UK-wide spring lockdown contributed to a £9.8 million pre-tax loss for the year to September 26, which compared with profits of £12.5 million the previous year.
On an underlying basis though, it saw pre-tax profits slump 78 per cent to £3.6 million, compared to £16 million a year earlier.
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Topps Tiles – which has 342 stores – said that while like-for-like sales dropped 12.5 per cent over the year, trading bounced back after the spring lockdown thanks to the recent surge in home improvement demand.
It saw like-for-like sales jump 16.5 per cent in its final quarter and notched up a 19.6 per cent hike in the eight weeks since its year-end.
“Following the period of lockdown, there has been a wave of domestic home improvement work, a rediscovery of the love of the home and in some cases, diversion of discretionary spend from other areas such as holidays into home improvement,” Topps Tiles said in its trading update.
The retailer added that the commercial market remained “subdued”, although activity levels were starting to improve.
“In what has been a very challenging year, I am pleased with our response as a business, in the resilience we have shown and, in particular, the strong bounce-back in retail sales delivered since the initial national lockdown,” chief executive Rob Parker said.
Topps Tiles has set itself a new market share goal to take £1 in every £5 spent on tiles and associated products in the UK by 2025, with aims to broaden its customer base.
Analysts said this will see it boost the group’s market share from around 17 per cent to 20 per cent within five years.