Topps Tiles has reported pre-tax losses of £4m for the half-year period ended 28 March, down from the profits of £5.2m it made during the same period in 2019.
First half like-for-like sales declined by 6.1%. Excluding week 26, when all stores were closed due to Covid-19, like-for-like sales decreased by only 4.3% due to the “challenging trading environment”. Additionally, group revenues slumped by 3.7% during the period to £106m.
The retailer closed stores on 23 March 2020 in order to “safeguard colleagues and customers”. Despite this, Topps Tiles recently re-launched its website, which it said has “performed well” with revenues c.3x pre-crisis levels.
The group also revealed that its board and senior management agreed a voluntary 20% reduction in base pay from April.
Rob Parker, chief executive, said: “Covid-19 has created a complex and extremely challenging trading environment and I am pleased by the way the group has responded to this crisis so far. We are prioritising the safety of our colleagues and customers, protecting the business and working hard to ensure we emerge from this period in the strongest possible position.
“The strong growth of our online business, the development of a collection-only store model, and the encouraging initial customer response to our phased programme of store re-openings, all demonstrate our resilience in the face of the Covid-19 threat.”
He added: “The response of our colleagues throughout these most testing times has been fantastic and I would like to thank them all for their unwavering support. The health and safety of employees, customers and business partners will remain our top priority as we continue to progress our plans for a safe return to work.
“Having taken steps to strengthen our financial liquidity over recent weeks we believe our resources are sufficient to address the current challenge. Looking further ahead, as the UK’s leading tile specialist, Topps remains well-positioned as the economy begins to recover.”