Howdens makes encouraging start; set to open 30 UK depots

Kitchen and joinery supplier Howdens has reported an encouraging start to 2023 with sales in line with the prior year.

According to its latest trading update for the first four periods of 2023 (16 weeks to 15 April 2023), UK depot revenue was 0.2% lower than the prior year and 1.6% lower on a same depot basis, reflecting very strong prior year revenue comparatives.

After adjusting for an additional sales day in 2022, UK revenue was ahead by 1.4% and level on a same depot basis. In 2022, UK results for the first four trading periods (the 16 weeks to 16 April 2022) were exceptionally high with record levels of demand in a buoyant kitchen and joinery market.

UK sales are expected to return to more normal phasing in 2023 and Howdens is on track with its outlook for the year. Depot revenue in the international businesses increased by 16.8% in local currency and was 3.8% lower on a same depot basis, compared to the equivalent periods last year.

“At the start of the new financial year, we have implemented price increases across all geographies, that are being retained at normal levels, as we continue to maintain the right balance between margin and volume, in line with ongoing market conditions,” Howdens said.

“During 2023, we plan to open around 30 new depots in the UK, around 10 in France and around five in the Republic of Ireland, and will be refurbishing around 80 older UK depots. We are making good progress with our new product introductions for 2023 and ongoing investment in our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities continues. Year-to-date, we have also completed £25 million of the previously announced £50 million share buy back programme.”

Commenting on Howdens’ current trading Andrew Livingston, Chief Executive added: “The Group has continued to perform well in the first four periods of 2023 against record prior year comparatives. We have good momentum in the business and our customers remain busy. We are on track with our plans for 2023 while mindful of the second half weighting of our sales, which includes our all-important peak trading period. Our kitchen and joinery markets are large and attractive, and we are continuing to invest in our future growth through our successful strategic initiatives.”

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