First half sales at record levels for Topps

Tile retailer Topps Tiles Plc has reported a record period during the first half with sales up by almost 10%.

According to its latest trading update for the 26-week period ended 1 April 2023, first half sales rose 9.5% to £130.5m, or up by £11.3m, compared to the comparative period. Approximately £9m of revenue growth related to the acquisition of Pro Tiler Tools and the launch of Tile Warehouse in 2022.

Like-for-like sales over the first half were up 4.3% at Topps Tiles, delivering first half revenue of £115.8m, a record for the business as a standalone brand. Sales per store in the first half were 30% higher than in the pre-pandemic period of FY19, including the benefit of transferring sales from closed stores as it successfully rationalised its store estate, as well as underlying sales growth.

“Customer satisfaction scores improved further during the first half, against the world class levels reported last year, and the business increased its mix of sales to trade customers to 59% (H1 FY22: 58%).  Trade customers are key as they provide high levels of repeat custom and an important link to homeowners, through recommendation and direct sales,” Topps said.

“Whilst gross profit has been rising in recent years following strong sales growth, gross margin percentage has trended down as a result of cost inflation, the growing trade customer mix, product mix and strategic decisions to invest in our customer value proposition.  In the first half, gross margins in Topps Tiles were lower year on year, however margins improved over the course of the period as we passed through cost price rises, and as supply chain pressures have started to moderate or reverse. As a result of these factors, we expect to see gross margins increase sequentially in the second half.”

The growth of its Online Pure Play businesses, led by Pro Tiler Tools, has been very strong. In the first half of this year, Online Pure Play delivered revenues of £10.1m.

Parkside’s revenue in the first half was £4.6m, down 9.3% year on year, reflecting project delays and lower business confidence as a result of the wider market sentiment.

Rob Parker, CEO, said: “Our performance across the first half has been good, with a record period for Group revenues, supported by like-for-like sales growth in Topps Tiles of 4.3% and an excellent post-acquisition performance from Pro Tiler Tools.

“The economic outlook remains uncertain but early signs of easing supply chain pressures, allied to the Group’s strong balance sheet, world class customer service, specialist expertise and growth strategy give us confidence in our ability to drive value for all stakeholders over the medium term.”

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