// Topps Tiles increased its retail like-for-like sales by 1% year-on-year in the 13 weeks to 1 January
// The retailer’s CEO said global supply chain challenges & higher staff absence due to Covid-19 continue to provide significant headwinds,
Topps Tiles had said it expects annual gross margins to be “moderately lower” compared with last year, as the British tile retailer battles higher shipping and input costs.
“Global supply chain challenges, higher staff absence due to Covid-19, and material cost price inflation continue to provide significant headwinds,” Chief Executive Officer Rob Parker said in a statement.
The retailer increased its retail like-for-like sales by 1% year-on-year in the 13 weeks to 1 January and by 21% on the same period two years ago.
The business also said it benefited from good levels of trading extending further into December as customers sought to finish they home transformation projects by Christmas.
Parker said: “We have made an encouraging start to the new financial year, with strong customer demand during the first quarter and like-for-like sales growth on both a two year and one year basis against tough comparatives.”
During the period, the retailer worked to fully mitigate or pass through cost pressures caused by higher shipping costs and general inflation in cost of goods as it looked to protect gross profit.
However, it has warned that selling prices will increase by a lower percentage than cost prices, so it expects percentage gross margins to be moderately lower year-on-year as a result.
Meanwhile, Topps’ commercial business saw its sales climb by around 21% in the three-month period.
Looking ahead, Parker said: “I am confident that our successful strategy and strong balance sheet leave us well-positioned to deliver sustainable long term growth and our 20% market share goal of ‘1 in 5 by 2025’.”
The company said it was holding higher levels of inventory than it has done historically, to mitigate supply chain challenges.