Howdens delivers strong growth as profits climb past £400m

Kitchen supplier Howdens has reported a growth in full year sales as profit surpasses £400m.

According to its latest trading update for 2022, total sales rose 10.8% to £2.3bn from £2bn, reflecting the strengths of its “local, trade only, in-stock business model”. Pre-tax profit resulted at £405.8m, up 4% from £390.3m in 2021.

During the year, Howdens opened 30 new depots in the UK, bringing the total to 808 at period end, while also revamping 82 older UK depots with around 50% of UK depots now trading in the updated format. Five new depots were opened in Ireland and 25 in France.

Howdens made further progress on new product introductions including 21 new kitchen ranges. Sales of new products introduced in 2021 and 2022 represented 22% of UK product sales in 2022. 

The company also invested in upgrading its manufacturing capacity and capabilities to support future growth. This included solid work surfaces, architrave and skirting products.

As for current trading, Howdens said sales in the first few weeks have been “encouraging in the UK” and has around 23 new kitchen ranges planned to launch for the year ahead. “We are increasing the number of ranges we offer at entry-level and mid-priced kitchen ranges and have refreshed our line-up of higher priced kitchens, a segment of the market where we are under-represented.”

Andrew Livingston, Chief Executive, commented: “Howdens delivered a strong performance in 2022, with good progress on executing our strategic priorities and further market share gains. During the year our teams have been adept at navigating the challenges of high inflation and supply chain disruption, while supporting our customers with a market leading product range, high stock availability and outstanding customer service.

“Our markets are large and fragmented which gives us a long-term opportunity for growth. In response, we are continuing to expand our depot network, improve our product range, optimise our manufacturing and supply chain, and develop our digital capabilities. We see potential for around 1,000 depots in the UK and we are now selectively expanding our business model internationally in France and the Republic of Ireland.

“Our robust financial position underpins our strategy, funding investment in our growth initiatives, expanding our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, and supporting ongoing cash returns for shareholders.”

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