Howdens break through £1bn sales barrier

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HOWDENS JOINERY has seen revenues break through £1bn for the first time in its 20-year history.

Sales rose 14% to £1.09bn while pre-tax profits climbed 40% to £188.8m. The strong performance saw the group’s net cash position increase by £77.2m, to £217.7m, which has enabled it to launch a £70m share repurchase programme, which will take place over the next two years.

The group was founded in Yorkshire and still manufactures kitchens in Howden, as well as operating dozens of depots across the region. Around one-third of the products its sells are manufactured at its factories in East Yorkshire and Runcorn, Cheshire.

It added 30 depots in 2014 and plans to open the same number in 2015 as it continues to build on its current total of 589 UK depots and towards its target of more than 700. It has also extended its trial of depots in France and will add up to seven more this year while two already open in Belgium will continue.

Howdens Joinery chief executive Matthew Ingle believes the performance of the business and the economic conditions make it the right time to invest in the business.

He said: “We have continued to invest in all aspects of the business, improving our operations, pursuing the growth opportunities before us and taking advantage of better market conditions.

“The recovery in the market seen since the summer of 2013 and our performance since then has caused us to review our growth prospects. As a result, we have identified the need for increased investment in the business. This is to ensure that we can take advantage of the growth opportunities that we now foresee, and to address the challenges of a more complex market and security of supply. In particular, we plan to increase investment in our manufacturing and logistics operations.”

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