Tile specialist Topps Tiles Plc, has announced a trading update for the 26 week period ending 31 March 2018. The Board will announce interim results for the period on 22 May 2018.
Total revenues for the 26 week period were £109.4 million (2017: £106.6 million).
Like-for-like revenues for the 26 week period increased by 0.6%.
The Group ended the period with 376 stores, having opened five and closed three stores during the first half.
Trading in the second quarter has seen a slow down from the levels reported in Q1, with like-for-like sales down by 2.2%. While the company "estimate that short term weather factors in late February and March, and the timing of an earlier Easter, account for around 1.6% of the second quarter like-for-like sales reduction, it is also clear that that there has been a softening of the underlying market."
Topps Tiles has reported that it will "continue to invest in the business and to make good progress with our core strategy of 'Out-Specialising the Specialists' to extend our market leading position in the UK tile market." Specific strategic progress in the period includes:
Commercial - Topps Tiles are currently investing in its Parkside business with an ambition to develop this into a leading brand in the commercial tile market. It has launched a new website, parkside.co.uk, and are very encouraged by the response it has received in our drive to build a talented sales team.
Range - the company are seeing "encouraging signs" that it can leverage its buying scale and range advantage into the commercial segment, effectively almost doubling the size of its addressable market while staying within its specialism of tiles.
Stores - it has commenced its all store improvement programme which will involve implementing the latest customer merchandising treatments, such as the design advice area, across the entire estate over the next two years.·
Digital - Toppstiles.co.uk, has been voted a top 50 UK retail website by InternetRetailing. The classification was for customer experience and was based on ease of navigation, usability, speed and customer service response times.
Chief executive officer, Matthew Williams said: "After a strong start to the year, market conditions have become more challenging over the second quarter. While the business has responded well with a performance ahead of the overall tile market, we are retaining a cautious view of market conditions for the remainder of the year."