Retailer plans expansion to compete in tough market
Ceramic tile and wood flooring retailer Topps Tiles has revealed, in a trading update for the 12 months to September 30, that it expects its annual revenue to grow 4 per cent to£180.2 million, although like-for-like sales have fallen 1.8 per cent on last year.

The company said that trading had picked up in the past five weeks, but that pre-tax profit at its annual results on November 28 will be flat at£39 million, compared to£39.2 million for the same period last year.

This will include a£1.1 million cost as a result of returning£122.4 million of cash to shareholders in summer.

In an interview with Reuters, Topps Tiles chief executive Nick Ounstead said: 'Things are still pretty tough out there and consumers are still careful spending money.'

As previously reported in Retail Week, he reiterated that in response to stiff competition from DIY chains, such as B&Q, Topps Tiles would press ahead with its plans to boost the numbers of stores it owns from the present 271.

'Our target is a minimum of 400 [stores in the UK] in four or five years. But that's a minimum target.'

Topps also revealed yesterday that it completed the purchase of the 50 per cent of its 15-store joint venture in the Netherlands that it did not already own.

The company added that it will increase its store opening programme in Holland to 'a minimum of five new stores each financial year'.

In morning trading shares in the company dropped 2.5p to 258.25p on the news, valuing the business at£520.3 million.