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Topps Tiles says green shoots are in sight as sales show signs of stabilising

TILE and wood flooring retailer Topps Tiles yesterday said its markets were stabilising with sales falling at a slower pace in its second half, adding to hopes the recession may be ending.<br /><br />Topps Tiles &ndash;&ensp;which is seen as a bellwether for DIYspending &ndash; said it expected sales at stores open more than a year to have fallen 13.5 per cent in the year to the end of September. That compares with a fall of 18.5 per cent in the six months to 28 March.<br /><br />Finance director Rob Parker said: &ldquo;There does appear to be some improvement in the UK housing market as mortgage approvals and transactions pick up. That should ripple through in around four months.&rdquo;<br /><br />In recent weeks, B&amp;Qowner Kingfisher and Carpetright expressed similar&nbsp; sentiments as they reported improving sales.<br /><br />KBS Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said: &ldquo;The stabilisation and improving medium-term outlook for housing transactions bode well.&rdquo;