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Strong Retail Like-For-Like Sales At Topps Tiles

Topps Tiles store in Cardiff 725 x 500.jpg

Topps Tiles Plc (“Topps” or the “Group”), the UK's leading tile specialist, announces a trading update for the 13 week period ended 26 December 2020. 

Retail like-for-like sales increased by 19.9% in the first 13 weeks of the current financial year (2020: decreased by 5.4%), with good growth in sales across both of our main customer groups, professional fitters and homeowners. 

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the safety and welfare of colleagues and customers remains our top priority.  All of our stores are Covid-19 Secure with enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols in place.  Tiles and associated products are building materials and we continue to trade under the building supplies exemption.  However, under the current lockdown rules for England we are currently being advised to close our tile aisles in stores to prevent browsing.  Customers can transact at the trade counter or through our online channel with direct delivery or click & collect.  We expect to see an impact on sales during the period of tighter restrictions and trading margins will come under some pressure due to the additional delivery costs associated with higher levels of online sales. 

The markets served by our Commercial business are seeing a more protracted recovery from the impact of Covid-19 when compared to that witnessed in domestic RMI, however we expect to make progress within Commercial this year.  Our performance in Commercial is in line with our plans and we remain committed to our strategy of disrupting the commercial market and constructing a market leader over the medium term. 

The Group’s balance sheet is in a fundamentally stronger position compared with the first national lockdown in Spring 2020 and, as at 26 December 2020, adjusted net cash was £28.5 million.  During the first quarter we repaid a £5.0 million term loan drawn as part of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and cancelled an unused £5.0 million revolving credit facility under the same scheme.  As such, the Group is now debt free. 

Rob Parker, CEO, said: “I am encouraged by our performance over the first quarter with our Retail business performing very strongly, with like-for-like sales up by 19.9%, and our Commercial business on track with our plans.       

“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are continuing to put colleague and customer welfare first.  While the latest lockdown restrictions will impact sales, at this stage it is very difficult to estimate the level of impact or how long this may last.  The business remains well funded, is debt free, has a market leading offer and a clear strategic focus on achieving our goal of ‘1 in 5 by 2025’*.  The combination of these factors gives me confidence that Topps is well-positioned for growth as we emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic and the economy recovers.” 

* Refers to Topps’ goal of accounting for £1 in every £5 spent on tiles and associated products in the UK by 2025, thereby increasing its market share to 20% from approximately 17% at present. 

The Group will announce a trading update for the 26 weeks ending 27 March 2021 on 31 March 2021.

Source : Topps Tiles

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06 January 2021

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