FLOORING specialist Topps Tiles has managed to buck the gloom and return a £12.5m profit after like-for-like sales bounced back in the second half of the year.
The FTSE 250 retailer reported a seven per cent slump in like-for-like sales in the first half but swung back into positive territory with a 3.5 per cent rise in the second half to post a 0.7 per cent fall overall for the year to 29 September.
Group sales at its 324 stores rose 1.3 per cent to £177m – its first overall increase in sales since 2007.
Topps said the results reflect “the stagnating performance of the economy” and the low level of housing deals, but chief executive Matthew Williams suggested a pick-up in confidence as households who have put off moving invest in DIY projects.
“The key factor for us is that the market is flat but it is changing. People are becoming much more trend aware and we feel we are uniquely placed to service that changing market,” he said.
Topps, which has a 27 per cent share of the market, has spent £20,000 per store refitting 18 of its stores and converted 10 Topps Clearing House stores into its more profitable Topps format.