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Norcros sales up by 3.8%

SHOWERS and tiles supplier Norcros has seen interim revenues rise by 3.8% despite a weak six months for one of its main businesses, Triton.

The Wilmslow firm said revenue rose to £106.3m (2011: £102.4m) for the six months ended September 30, 2012 and by 9.4% on a constant currency basis.

UK revenues increased by 4.7% to £61.1m but underlying operating profit was 9.5% below last year at £6m.

Triton Showers performed better in the second quarter after a weak first quarter but was still down 8.3% over the period when compared with last year.

It said the overall UK shower market had declined approximately 7% in volume terms in the first six months. Weak consumer confidence and reduced public sector spending were exacerbated by further customer de-stocking in the first quarter. However, although Triton's UK revenue was 6.4% lower than prior year, the business managed to increase its market share. Second quarter revenue was 3.4% lower than the same period last year compared to a 9.6% decrease in the first quarter.

Export revenue, which is predominantly derived from Ireland and represents about 14% of overall Triton revenue, was 18.7% down against last year, which the group said reflected the problems in the Eurozone. Johnson Tiles was said to have performed well especially in the UK market where it has continued to gain share. Overall revenue in the six months was 17% higher than the same period last year.

It said UK markets remained challenging but despite this, UK revenue was ahead of last year by 20.6% with continued market share gain in the DIY multiple channel and in particular with B&Q which has implemented a major tile range review and introduced a new in-store tile shop.

Group underlying operating profit improved 4.8% to £6.6m (2011: £6.3m), while underlying pre-tax improved 11.1% to £6m (2011: £5.4m), driven by the higher underlying operating profit and lower costs – which are attributed to a refinancing in September last year. Group pre-tax profit increased 53.5% to £6.6m (2011: £4.3m) and basic underlying earnings per share was 1.1p (2011: 0.9p).

The group said: "Revenue growth has been driven by continued investment in new products, strong customer relationships and excellent logistics capability."

Source : Duncan Tift –

13 November 2012
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