Published on 25 - January - 2010
Garden Centre Group reports strong Christmas tradingGarden retail chain, formerly Wyevale, posts 17% increase in profit, with gross margins up more than 50%.
The Garden Centre Group has reported a "terrific Christmas", with sales for the five weeks to December 27 reaching £26m. Although a similar sales performance to last year, gross profit was up 17% on the same period in 2008, reaching £14m. Gross margins were also up more than 50%.
Real Christmas tree sales saw a 7% rise over the period, while restaurant sales were up 10% and sales of wild bird food increased 8%.
Since refinancing in February 2009, The Garden Centre Group has focused on tighter stock control and supply chain management. It stated that reduced stock levels for the five-week period helped to significantly improve cash generation.
As part of the turnaround process, the garden centre chain has also consolidated a large number of its trade and property assets. This has included the sale of Shiplake Nursery and Garden Centre in Henley, which is due to close at the end of the month.
Garden Centre Group ceo Nicholas Marshall said: "Despite the challenging weather conditions and economic climate, our new strategy has enabled us to improve significantly our profitability over the Christmas trading period - we are delighted with our performance."
He added: "We enter 2010 with a sustainable business model that is well positioned for growth; and are excited about the prospects this will bring."
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