- Topps Tiles statutory pre-tax profits up 1.8% to £17m
- Retailer reports record full-year sales of £212.2m as like-for-likes grow 5.4%
- Topps achieves goal to reach one third of tile market one year ahead of schedule
- Boss Matt Williams hails “strong performance” and “encouraging start” to new financial year
Topps Tiles statutory pre-tax profits increased 1.8% to £17m during the full year, driven by record sales and gross margin gains.
The retailer’s full-year revenues jumped 8.7% to £212.2m as like-for-like sales grew 5.4% during the 53 weeks ending October 3 and helped it capture its target of one third of the tile market.
Topps Tiles gross margin edged up to 61.2% from 60.9% last year off the back of “sourcing gains” and a focus on “a differentiated product offer,” as adjusted pre-tax profits soared 19.3% to £20.4m.
But Topps was hit by a series of one offs, including a £1.5m “business simplification” cost as it centralised it head office functions into one site in Leicester and a £1.1m charge to close seven clearance stores and convert the remaining four into the core Topps format.
The retailer, which had 346 stores by the year end, said its strategy of ‘Out-Specialising the Specialists’ delivered “successful results” during the year as it achieved its goal of taking £1 of every £3 spent in the UK domestic tile market, 12 months ahead of schedule.
Topps has invested in improving its range, providing an “inspirational shopping experience” and convenience across its channels to boost sales.
It said that £12m - 9.3% of total revenue - was generated through sales of new ranges that had been launched during the financial year.
The retailer added that work was continuing to “extend the appeal of the Topps brand”. It will introduce new branding and merchandising across its entire portfolio, inspired by its new ‘boutique’ store format.
It spent £3.3m on 19 new store openings, two relocations and nine closures during the year, while investing a further £5.5m on store refits and rebranding.
Topps said that helped drive like-for-like sales up 3.3% during the first eight weeks of the new financial period, although that was down from the 5.8% uplift it reported during the same period last year.
Topps Tiles chief executive Matthew Williams said: “I am pleased to report that Topps delivered a strong performance for the year, with our focus on convenience, inspiration and range driving sales to a new record and enabling us to hit our strategic goal of a one third share of the domestic tile market a year ahead of schedule.
“Our strategy of ‘Out-Specialising the Specialists’ continues to be very effective and will remain at the heart of what we do as we seek to build on these foundations and target further profitable sales growth.
“We have made an encouraging start to the new financial year, with like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks ahead by 3.3%, in line with our expectations.
“The group has entered the period in good shape and with a clear purpose, and we remain energised by the multiple growth opportunities open to the business in the years ahead.”