Sales worsen at Topps Tiles

Kasmira Jefford
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TOPPS TILES, the UK’s largest tiling retailer, has seen its sales deteriorate in the past few months as squeezed consumers continue to put off redecorating their homes.

The group said the combined effect of stagnation in the housing market and falls in consumer spending power had caused sales at stores open over a year to fall by two per cent.

Like-for-like sales were down 6.9 per cent in the first seven weeks of the new financial year, which analysts noted was an improvement after a 9.5 per cent slump in its fourth quarter.

Matthew Williams, chief executive, said the group was broadening its appeal beyond the traditional customer base with more focus on attracting high end customers.

“With very challenging trading conditions persisting throughout the second half of our financial period, our focus has been on strengthening our market leading position,” he said.

Topps runs 321 stores and plans to open with five new outlets this financial year. It raised its market share by one per cent to 26 per cent.

The firm, which issued a profit warning in August, said pre-tax profits for the year to October were £13.9m, compared with £16.3m last year.

Shares fell two per cent to 23.5p.