ToppsTiles march on after strong first half

RETAILER Topps Tiles has hailed a successful first half, where it grew profits, sales and market share.

The group, which has more than 340 stores nationwide and a finance and operations base in Handforth near Stockport, said it is trialling a boutique store concept in Knutsford and St John’s Wood in north London, with a further 10 stores in this format to be opened by the year end.

Revenue in the 26 weeks to March 28 was 6.4% ahead at £104m, while profits before exceptional items raced ahead by 13.8% to £9.1m.  Reflecting this strong showing, the group hiked its half year dividend by 15.4% to 0.75p per share.

Chief executive Matthew Williams said: “Topps had an encouraging first half, increasing like-for-like sales by 5.3% and achieving further growth in market share. Initiatives to upgrade and rebrand our stores, making the shopping experience even more inspirational, have been well-received by customers.

“Our well-established trade offer is also ensuring that we keep pace with the accelerating “do it for me” trend, as more customers than ever use a professional fitter for their tiling project.”

Williams said the group’s positive momentum had continued into the second half. Like-for-like sales in the first six weeks of the periodare up 5.1%.
He added: “We have made a good start to the second half with healthy levels of sales growth in the initial six weeks.  We continue to grow sales ahead of the market and remain confident that our strategy will continue to deliver profitable market share gains.”