Published on 11 - July - 2011
Garden Centre Group poised for growth as sales soarThe Garden Centre Group has reported an 8% rise in sales to £152m for the six months to June 30.
During the period, plant sales went up 14%, and gardening products increased by 12%. The group's 91 restaurants saw record revenues up 14% to £18m.
The group, which operates from 119 garden centres across England and Wales, has also seen improved margins year-on-year, which are expected to be at least 100bps better than the 49% reported for the same period in 2010.
This strong H1 performance comes after the group's sales soared 100% year-on-year over the Easter weekend, rising 19% for the four months to April 30.
The company attributed stronger margins to a combination of improved sales performance and investing in its own nursery operation and sourcing goods from UK suppliers. The group now sources 90% of its plants in the UK, versus 70% in 2008, reducing its exposure to foreign exchange movements and inflationary pressure on transport and packaging costs.
Ceo Nicholas Marshall commented: "There is no doubt that the gardening industry has benefited from the better weather this spring coupled with a late Easter. It would be wrong to assume that the group has only done well because of these two factors as the group has outperformed the rest of the industry that is struggling to keep up with last year's sales."
He added: "At the heart of our success has been recognising the reason why people visit a garden centre, namely to buy plants, and ensuring that our customer offer is better than our competitors in terms of quality, range and value."
The company is now set for growth, and is looking at "various options going forward", according to chairman Andrew Sells. The board has appointed financial advisor Rothschild "to advise on the strategic options for what is a unique, asset-rich retail business which is well positioned to generate significant future growth," he said.
DIYWeek.net does not edit comments which are submitted directly by our users to express their own views. Please report abuse of our comment system here.
© Datateam Business Media Limited 2011. DIY Week.net news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.