(Adds details, analyst comments, share movement)
July 24 Modular kitchen manufacturer Howden
Joinery Group Plc reported a 37.5 percent rise in
first-half profit, helped by improving consumer sentiment and a
slew of government initiatives that have boosted Britain's
The company also said on Thursday that revenue from its UK
depot business was up 14 percent in the first four weeks of the
second half, after growing 11.6 percent in the first half.
Howden's shares rose as much as 5.6 percent in early
trading, making the stock the top percentage gainer on the
FTSE-250 Midcap Index.
Howden sells kitchens and joinery products to kitchen shops,
which install them for landlords, local authorities, housing
trusts and developers.
The company said pretax profit rose to 57.2 million pounds
($97.4 million) in the 24 weeks to June 14, from 41.6 million
pounds a year earlier.
Total revenue rose 11.4 percent to 435.4 million pounds in
the first half, with UK depots contributing 428.2 million
pounds. The remaining contribution came from France.
Gross profit margin rose to 63.2 percent from 61.5 a year
"Howden has delivered a strong H1 result and we think
continues to outperform the market," Liberum analysts said in a
note to clients.
A surge in homebuilding helped British construction activity
grow at its fastest annual pace in four months in June, bucking
expectations for a slowdown, the Markit/CIPS purchasing
managers' survey showed.
Howden also got a boost from improving consumer spending in
the second quarter - the fastest year-on-year growth rate since
The company said it had opened 17 new depots in the UK so
far this year, bringing the total to 576. It plans to open
another 30 depots this year.
Howden's shares were up 4.46 percent at 325.40 pence at 0755
($1 = 0.5872 British pounds)
(Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri and Roshni Menon; Editing by Ted