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Topps moves to consolidate brand as market tightens

Published: 28 May 2008
Tv campaign to promote nation's largest tile retailer.
Topps Tiles is using a television advertising campaign on ITV to consolidate its position in the tile market.

Under the strapline 'Tiling the Nation' it will increase marketing efforts for the year to promote the brand as the nation's largest specialist tile retailer.

The tile and wood floor specialist spent an additional £1m on advertising, which hit operating profits for the half-year to the 26 weeks to March 29, 2008 (£20.8m against £21.3m in 2007, a fall of 2.3%).

In addition to its well-established retail outlets Topps said it is in the early stages of development of an online business that will provide a new source of growth.

Elsewhere in the interim statement, Topps produced a mixed bag of results: profit before tax was £15.8 million (2007: £18.7m); group revenue was up 4% but down 0.9% on a like-for-like basis (-0.5% adjusting for the Easter calendar effect).

On a more positive note, net debt was reduced from £106 million to £94.7 million and gross margin was slightly up.

Over the period Topps Tiles opened 10 new UK stores and now trades from 311 stores in the UK (2007: 301) and 20 stores in Holland (2007: 20)

Despite the mixed results the retailer's chief executive, Matt Williams, said he is confident of delivering healthy returns both in the current year and in the future.

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