Topps Tiles tops up its profit forecast

Retailer Topps Tiles has upgraded its profit forecast following much-improved trading in the fourth quarter.

A new Topps Tiles store.

The group posted a 1.2 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to September 29 as it benefited from a turnaround strategy and the outperformance of the tile market.

As a result, Topps expects adjusted pre-tax profits for the year to be slightly ahead of the top end of the current range of market expectations, which stand at between £14.6m and £15.2m.

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Adjusted revenues for the year are expected to be in the region of £215m, up from last year’s £211.8m.

Like-for-like revenues in the 52-week period to the end of September were flat.

Chief executive Matthew Williams said: “I am pleased to report an improvement in trading over the final quarter which has enabled the group to post a full-year sales result which is slightly ahead of the top end of market expectations and which represents an outperformance of the overall tile market.”

It comes after a difficulty year for Topps, which saw half-year profits tumble by nearly a third after the Beast from the East and the timing of Easter hit sales.

The group, which has 370 stores across the UK, reported a 32.6 per cent plunge in pre-tax profits to £6.4m for the six months to March 31.

The chain has also been grappling with a slowing housing market and a slowdown in the wider economy.

But Mr Williams struck a defiant tone on Wednesday.

“Our core Topps Tiles business is a well-invested, cash-generative market leader with a proven strategy, and we continue to make good progress with our expansion into the commercial segment of the UK tile market which will be an important source of future growth for the group.”