Consumer spending challenges impact tile retailer

Tile specialist Topps Tiles has reported a decline in first quarter sales as challenges to consumer spending impact performance.

According to its latest trading update for the 13-week period ended 30 December 2023, group sales were 4% lower year-on-year.

“As reported in the 2023 full year results, trading in the first quarter reflected the ongoing challenges to discretionary consumer spending, particularly those impacting on businesses serving the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement sector,” Topps said.

Like-for-like sales in Topps Tiles were down 7.1% in the first quarter, continuing the trend seen in the first eight weeks, with sales to trade customers proving more resilient than sales to homeowners. Trading remains strong in Online Pure Play, with significant year on year sales growth, led by Pro Tiler Tools. Its Parkside commercial business is performing in line with expectations and is profitable in the year to date.

“As disclosed in the 2023 full year results, based on a number of factors including the timing of the holiday pay accrual, higher energy usage in H1 and trading in the first part of the year, we expect the Group’s profits in 2024 to be weighted towards the second half,” Topps added.

“The Group remains well-positioned to respond to market conditions and we expect to have gained further market share in the first quarter, driven by our world-class customer service, market-leading brands and specialist expertise, and supported by our strong balance sheet. We remain excited about the opportunities for Topps Group over the medium term.”

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