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Topps: increasing challenges ahead

Published: 26 March 2008
Economic backdrop makes for a tough consumer market, warns the chief executive.
Topps: increasing challenges ahead
Topps Tiles has reported a slight drop of -0.5% in like-for-like sales in a pre-close trading update covering the first half of the year to end-September 2008.

Group sales increased by 4.1% to £106m.

The core UK business has seen -0.5% like-for-like growth (+4% in 2007), implying, according to analysts, that the second quarter has seen a decline of 1.9%, following on from the positive 0.7% reported over the first 13 weeks.

The Group has a new store opening target of a net 20 new UK stores and will have opened eight in the period. The UK business is now trading from 309 stores.

Holland is expected to show revenue growth of 7% (-3% like-for-like). The group continues to trade from 20 locations across Holland and hopes for one to two new openings in the second half.

Gross margin is expected to be broadly in line with the 06/07 full year margin and the company continues to trade from 'enviable characteristics of low operational gearing, a defensive quality in a difficult consumer environment'.

Chief executive Matt Williams said he is confident the robust business model will serve it well in the current climate.

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