Date: Tuesday 29 May 2012
LONDON (ShareCast) - Tile specialist Topps Tiles managed to stop shrinking sales in the seven weeks to 19th May, following a boost in trading in the run up to Easter.
The group, which operates 320 stores, said like for like sales over in the seven-week period rose 4.5% compared to a 2.1% decline in during the same period a year earlier.
However for the 26 weeks ended 31 March 2012 like for like revenues fell by 4.7%, in line with expectations, following tougher comparatives the previous year.
Group revenue in the half year to end-March fell to £86.6m from £89.2m previously while adjusted pre-tax profit fell to £5.6m from £7.2m before.
Topps, which issued a profit warning last August after poor sales from its stores, noted that while current trading offers some cause for optimism, it remains cautious about future trading amid the housing market slowdown and continued pressure on disposable incomes.
It cautioned that the sluggish housing market continued to cast uncertainty over longer-term growth.
Chief executive Matthew Williams said: "In the environment of continuing low levels of consumer confidence and housing transactions, we have been, and continue to be, focused on optimising returns from the existing store estate whilst continuing to make the investments necessary to support longer term growth."
He added: "We expect trading conditions for retailers in the discretionary spend sector to remain challenging during the second half. Against this background we will continue to move the business forwards prudently focusing on driving longer term growth, improving gross margins, further promoting our brand and delivering our financial and operational objectives."
Net debt was reduced to £46.3m from £50m a year earlier.
The interim dividend has been maintained at 0.50p.
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