Flooring group restructure lays down strong growth

Floorcoverings distributor Likewise Group plc has reported a growth in sales and profit as restructure complements local market traction.

According to its audited Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2022, total sales increased 140.4% from £60.5m in 2021 to £123.6m for the year ended December 2022. Underlying profit before tax increased 84.8% to £2.56m compared to £1.38m.

Following the restructure of the Group at the start of 2022, with the exception of Valley, all of the operating businesses trade as divisions of Likewise Floors Limited. “These businesses continue to gain traction in their local markets,” the group said.

Valley Wholesale Carpets Limited, acquired in January 2022, has performed to “original expectations in an undoubtedly challenging market and we are therefore very pleased with the contribution from Valley to sales and profitability”. The Valley logistics network, with its main distribution hub in Erith, is now enhanced by extra storage and cutting capacity in Derby, in addition to the previously unused centre in Newport commencing operations in November 2022.

Likewise Floors, which now trades from the national distribution hub in Leeds, is a “critical part” of the Group’s logistics network and continues to be a key component in supplying the wider Group. Delta Carpets, acquired in April 2022 is now fully integrated into the Leeds hub.

Likewise Midlands is now fully operational from the distribution hub in Birmingham. From this location the Group is able to supply both North and South, providing vital support to smaller logistics centres. “The sales team operating from Birmingham continue to increase the Group’s market presence by focusing on the key strengths of the Group, developing strong customer relationships and providing great products, service and value for our customers,” Likewise said.

Likewise South, which opened in Newbury in July 2022, continues to grow its presence in the south of England with future development already planned. Investment in initial start-up costs for the business amounts to £0.497m in the period.

Likewise London and Floors by Lewis Abbott have now relocated to a newly refurbished 12,000 square feet logistics centre in Sidcup. This will enable the business to provide an improved service to existing customers and to develop additional business with customers in the South East of England.

A&A in Manchester continues to trade from its original premises. The board is committed to sourcing a more suitable distribution centre to fit with the Group’s medium-term objectives and to support the increased potential of the A&A brand.

The new facility in Glasgow for Likewise Scotland will enhance the Group’s presence in Scotland and with the committed capital investment, the operational capacity of the Group will be greatly enhanced. The business is expected to be fully operational from this location from June 2023.

“Overall, the Group continues to expand its presence in all areas, both with product and geographically. The board now consider that the logistics capability that has been created can support the Group’s medium-term aspirations to have a business with revenue in excess of £200m,” the group added.

Looking ahead, Likewise said it has established a comprehensive infrastructure over the last two years and, with the ongoing investment in Sales and Marketing, it is “well placed to continue to increase market share”.

“The first four months of 2023 have been positive and the Board is confident that the experienced Management, combined with strong Sales Teams and all our Staff, will contribute to the ongoing development and success of the Group.” Revenue for the first four months of 2023 has shown a further increase of 17.8% over the corresponding period last year, and the Group remains in line with the current market consensus.

Tony Brewer, Chief Executive of Likewise Group plc, commented: “The Group has made a positive start to the first four months of 2023 and in market conditions which continue to be challenging, has undoubtedly gained market share.

“This has been achieved through continually increasing market presence and the success of our experienced Sales Teams throughout the UK, supported by the logistics infrastructure being established.

“We would like to thank all of our Suppliers, Customers, Management, Staff and Shareholders for their ongoing support and huge contribution to the ongoing development of Likewise. We continue to be very optimistic in achieving our medium-term objectives.”

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