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Norcros LFL sales slip

NORCROS, the Cheshire company which supplies showers, tiles and adhesives, has seen like-for-like UK sales slip by 4.2% despite signs of an improving housing market.

In an interim management statement for the 18 weeks to February 2 the group said total UK sales were up 18.3%, reflecting the impact of its acquisition of bathroom tap specialist Vado last year.

The Wilmslow company, which has the Triton Showers and Johnson Tiles brands, said group sales grew by 12.8% on a constant currency basis which takes into account currency fluctuations. Norcros also has operations in South Africa.

It said UK Triton revenue was down by 1.2% but export income was up by 6.5% and Johnson Tiles sales were down by 8.9%. Vado "continues to perform to expectations" with revenue growth of 10%.

The company said: "The economic outlook in the UK continues to be positive in terms of construction activity and housing transactions benefiting the trade sector. As expected however, the retail sector is taking longer to benefit and still remains challenging.

"Whilst the medium term outlook in South Africa is still positive, the weakening Rand has impacted our markets in recent months, and has also had an adverse effect on Rand profit translation to Sterling. Nevertheless, with our strong brands, leading market positions and continued self-help initiatives focused on market share gain in both our home and export markets, the board remains confident that the group should continue to make progress in line with market expectations for the current year."

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Source : James Graham

13 February 2014
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