Belfast Telegraph

Topps Tiles acknowledges 'more challenging' market after dip in profits

Profits at Topps Tiles slumped in the first half of the year as the tiling retailer flagged a slowing housing market and challenging market conditions.

The group said pre-tax profits in the six months to April 1 fell 5.9% to £9.5 million while revenues dipped 1.3% to £106.6 million and like-for-like sales declined 1.9%.

Topps said trading in the period reflected "a more challenging market" and the group pointed to tough comparatives last year, when housing transactions were on the up ahead of stamp duty changes which came into effect in April 2016.

The firm added trading in the second half to date has been "more challenging as a result of a weaker macro environment".

Chief executive Matthew Williams said: "Our results for the first half reflect the more challenging macro-economic environment we have traded through so far in 2017.

"The key macro indicators for our market are weaker year-on-year and we are taking a prudent view of the second half prospects."

On a brighter note, Mr Williams said Topps is evaluating a number of small acquisition opportunities.

Adam Tomlinson, analyst at Liberum, said: "We continue to believe Topps' leading, specialist market position leaves it better placed than competitors to weather softer trading conditions and we expect the ongoing store roll-out, focused strategy and opportunity in the commercial sector to drive long-term growth."