Tile retailer Topps Tiles Plc has reported a growth in sales during its first quarter with trade customers an area of particular strength.
The group, which includes Topps Tiles, Pro Tiler Tools, Tile Warehouse and Parkside, saw sales in the 13 weeks to 31 December 2022 rise 10.2% year on year, with approximately half of this growth due to the comparative period in 2021 being prior to the acquisition of Pro Tiler Tools.
Topps Tiles continues to perform well and has delivered a strong first quarter. Like-for-like sales were 5.1% higher than last year, with total sales growth in Topps Tiles approximately 2 percentage points below this due to a lower average number of stores trading this year.
“The timing of Christmas and New Year benefitted first quarter sales by about half a percentage point. Overall, the business delivered another strong period of trading in the weeks leading into Christmas, and sales to trade customers continued to be an area of particular strength,” Topps said.
“Pro Tiler Tools, acquired in March 2022, has continued to grow at an exceptional rate, with sales in the most recent quarter up significantly year on year. The introduction of new, trade-focused brands, further investment in stock and a continued focus on outstanding customer service have contributed to this performance, and we are currently working through options to deliver additional value to the Group through the Pro Tiler team. Tile Warehouse, launched in May 2022, is now largely through the initial start-up phase and we are now focusing on driving more traffic to the website and higher levels of conversion.
“Parkside’s financial performance improved at pace in FY22 and, following a strong second half, the business was trading at breakeven by the final quarter. Parkside is targeted to deliver a modest profit this year.”
As previously disclosed in the 2022 full year results, the group expects profitability in the current financial year to be more second half weighted than is usually the case. “The drivers of this are a significant year on year increase in our gas expense which will be weighted towards the autumn and winter period, the timing of various accruals, the impact of the newer businesses and some easing in supply chain costs as the year progresses.”
Rob Parker, CEO, added: “We are pleased with what has been a strong first quarter of the new financial year, with strong like-for-like sales growth in Topps Tiles of 5.1%, excellent performance from our recent acquisition, Pro Tiler Tools, and overall Group sales up 10.2% compared with the same period last year.
“We remain mindful of the macroeconomic headwinds which may impact UK consumers and businesses in the forthcoming year, but the Group’s strong balance sheet, world class customer service, specialist expertise and ambitious growth strategy gives us confidence that we will continue to deliver value over the medium term.”