Kitchen supplier cooks up a recovery

Kitchen supplier Howdens Joinery has cooked up a recovery in the second half of the year as it “benefitted from pent-up demand and the consumer’s desire to invest in their homes”.

Sales in the second six months were up 16%, which followed a “sharp drop” during the first national lockdown when all of its depots were initially closed.

Howdens ended the year with revenue down 2% to £1.55bn although pre-tax profits were down 29% to £185m.

It has repaid the £22m it received from Government furlough and other support taken earlier in the year.

The group has proposed a £108m dividend payment to shareholders, made up of a 9.1p per share dividend and a special dividend of 9.1p to replace the cancelled final dividend for 2019.

Andrew Livingstone, CEO, Howdens

“Howdens performed well during 2020,” said Andrew Livingston, chief executive of Howdens Joinery. “We adapted to COVID trading conditions and progressed our strategic plans for the business.

“Given the Covid-related and other economic uncertainties, we remain cautious about underlying market conditions; however, we are encouraged by the progress made in 2020 and remain confident in our business model for the future.”