Topps Tiles’ like-for-likes fell 10.9 per cent in the 18 weeks to August 1 as declining consumer confidence continued to knock the retailer.
Total sales declined 9.9 per cent. However, trading was better than in the previous seven weeks, when like-for-likes fell 11.9 per cent. Topps Tiles said it is “on track to meet management’s expectations for the full year”.
Chief executive Matt Williams said: “There are reassuring signs of stability and like-for-likes will start to come good on much softer comparable numbers. It’s playing out as we expected it, although it won’t be smooth sailing from here on in, as we are very much linked to consumer confidence and unemployment is still a major issue.”
The 312-store retailer closed five more shops in the struggling Dutch market, taking its store count there to 13. In the first half to March 28, Dutch like-for-likes fell 17 per cent.
Williams said: “Holland is still difficult, and we’ll end up with around 10 stores by the end of the year. We have no plans to pull out yet.”
He said the retailer should end up with more than 300 UK stores by the end of the financial year.
Topps is “making small inroads” into the business-to-business market, Williams said. “It’s early days and a difficult market, but one that’s potentially bigger than retail.”
KBC Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said: “With Topps gaining market share and sales well correlated to housing transactions, we see further upside to trading performance and the share price over the coming 12 to 18 months.”