Flooring group delivers record sales following logistics investment

Flooring distributor Likewise Group plc has announced a growth in sales to record levels fuelled by investment to increase logistics capacity.

According to its latest trading update, Likewise said that Gross Sales Revenue for the year ended 31 December 2023 increased by 13.6% to £140.2m. Sales in Likewise Floors increased 29.1% in FY23. These increases are particularly positive given the macro economic headwinds and subsequent challenging market conditions.

“The Group’s Sales Revenue for FY23 is ahead of current market expectations and underlying profitability is expected to be in line with market expectations, reflecting the continued investment in the future of the business,” Likewise said. “The Board is confident of achieving the current market expectations for FY24 as the Group continues to develop its position in the UK Flooring Market. As demonstrated with the maiden Interim Dividend declared in September 2023, the Board is committed to a progressive dividend policy in line with profitability.

“Undoubtedly the most encouraging factor during the high sales volume in November and even greater activity in the first two weeks of December, averaging £660,638 per day, was the ability of the Logistics Infrastructure that has been developed over the last three years being able to efficiently process and deliver the additional demand created.

“The Group has invested heavily in Point of Sale Displays and Sampling to significantly increase its market presence over the last three years in conjunction with establishing the Logistics Infrastructure. The final quarter of 2023 demonstrated the success of this strategy to date with the ability to generate increasing Sales Revenue whilst providing the Operational expertise to service customers effectively.

“This strategy will continue into 2024 as the Group is confident in continuing to gain market share and through operational gearing, improve profitability.”

Valley Wholesale Carpets Limited, with its main Distribution Hub in Erith, was able to accommodate the volumes and utilise the additional Cutting Capacity that was established through further investment in the Derby Distribution Centre.

This will allow Valley to expand its business with greater Point of Sale and the opportunity to increase its Product range in 2024 to existing customers, in addition to increasing its geographical presence into South West England following the successful development in South Wales. This enlarged sales volume will be absorbed through increased capabilities in both the Derby and Newport Distribution Centres.

“The beginning of 2024 will commence with Likewise London increasing its Sales Management and infrastructure with a similar initiative in Likewise South East, allowing both businesses to expand their market presences,” the group added.

“Likewise South is also extending its geographical reach to now develop business with customers in Bristol and the South West of England.

“January 2024 sees the launch of Likewise Wales with an experienced Team operating from the Newport Distribution Centre. They are expected to quickly develop a significant presence in both Commercial and Residential markets.

“Heads of Terms are agreed for A&A Manchester to relocate to new premises in Spring 2024. A&A will benefit from being part of the Likewise Logistics Network which has now allowed A&A to develop into Commercial Flooring in North West England as well as providing an improved delivery service to its Residential customers in the North of England and Midlands.

“Likewise Scotland is now able to really expand its presence through significantly increased capacity in the Glasgow Distribution Centre which can also provide extra capability for both storage and processing into the overall Likewise Logistics Network.

“Further investment in the Birmingham Distribution Hub allows this important location to have an increasing influence on the development of Likewise Floors and specifically the capacity to develop the ever expanding Likewise Midlands business.

“Additional sales resource in H&V Carpets, Floors by Lewis Abbott and Delta Carpets provides each of these businesses with every opportunity to expand in 2024.

“The strategic investments in Derby and Newport plus Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham in conjunction with the established locations in Erith, Newcastle, Leeds, Newbury, Sidcup and Sudbury, provides the Group with the Logistics Infrastructure to deliver the extensive Sales and Marketing initiatives in progress.”

Tony Brewer, Chief Executive of Likewise Group plc, added: “The Board would like to thank our Management and Sales Team for generating increasing volumes, and particularly our Telesales, Administration, Warehouse, Night Teams and Delivery Drivers for their important contributions.

“The ability and commitment of our people combined with the infrastructure coping with ever increasing volumes, demonstrates the ability of the business to surpass its medium term objectives.

“The Group has come a long way in the last three years and we look forward to a positive and exciting future as the Group capitalises on the many opportunities for the benefit of all our employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders.”

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