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Topps Tiles warns of ‘heightened economic uncertainty’ as sales slump

Topps Tiles has reported a 7.2% decrease in like-for-like revenues for the first eight weeks of its new financial year, due to “heightened political and economic uncertainty”.

The DIY retailer warned that it has seen “weakened” consumer demand since the UK general election was called in late October, and comes after the company saw profits drop 1.6% to £12.5m during its previous financial year.

In the year to 28 September 2019, adjusted revenues also decreased to £214.3m during the period, compared with £214.8m last year. However, like-for-like store sales were 0.6% higher than the prior year, which consisted of a 0.2% increase in the first half of the financial period and a 0.9% increase in the second half. 

CEO Matthew Williams said the year has been “another year of strategic progress” for the company with a resilient sales performance.

He said: “In retail, our strategy of ‘out-specialising the specialists’ enabled us to deliver like-for-like sales growth and further enhance our market-leading gross margins in tough market conditions. In commercial, we saw significant year-on-year sales growth as we continue to invest in constructing a market-leader over the medium term. 

“At the start of the new financial year, trading conditions have become more challenging, with consumer demand weakening further since the general election was called in late October.” Against this backdrop of heightened political and economic uncertainty, like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks have declined.”

Earlier this month, Williams revealed he would resign at the end of the month, with current chief financial officer, Rob Parker succeeding Williams as CEO from 29 November.

According to the retailer, to ensure a “smooth handover” Williams will remain as an advisor to the business until the end of May 2020.

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