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Topps Tiles full year profit falls 15%

British tile and wood flooring retailer Topps Tiles (TPT.L) added to the gloom in the retail sector posting a 15 percent fall in year profit and a further deterioration in recent trading.

The firm, which issued a profit warning in August, said on Tuesday it made an underlying pretax profit of 13.9 million pounds in the year to October 1.

That compares with analysts' average forecast of 13.4 million pounds and 16.3 million pounds in the 2009-10 year.

Topps Tiles, which trades from 321 UK stores, said total revenue fell 4 percent to 175.5 million pounds, while gross margin declined 0.9 percentage points.

Sales at stores open over a year fell 2 percent and were down 6.9 percent in the first seven weeks of the new financial year.

"Looking ahead, we expect economic conditions will remain difficult in 2012, with consumer budgets again under pressure," said Chief Executive Matthew Williams.

"Our response will be to take further cost out of the business, grow margin and maximise sales opportunities, whilst making operational improvements that will position the business for future growth as economic conditions improve."

Britons have been feeling the pinch as disposable incomes are squeezed by rising prices, muted wage growth and government austerity measures, and as they worry about a stagnant housing market, job security, a fragile economic recovery and the euro zone debt crisis.

Shares in Topps Tiles, which have lost 62 percent of their value over the last year, closed on Monday at 23 pence, valuing the business at 43 million pounds.

The firm is paying a total dividend of 1.1 pence, up from 1.0 pence.

Source : James Davey & Mark Potter – Reuters
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/29/uk-topstiles-idUKTRE7AS0EI20111129

29 November 2011
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