LONDON May 29 Britain's Topps Tiles
posted a 16 percent fall in first half profit and said trading
since has deteriorated, leaving it cautious on its outlook for
the remainder of the year.
The UK's largest tile specialist had said in March that
despite an expected fall in first half profit due to weak
demand, cost savings would keep it on track to meet full-year
forecasts, however on Wednesday the firm struck a more cautious
"At this early point in the second half, assessing the
likely impact on the full year outcome is difficult, but we
continue to be cautious on the like-for-like sales outlook for
the remainder of the current year," the company said.
Underlying pretax profit for the 26 weeks to March 30 fell
to 4.7 million pounds ($7 million), down from 5.6 million a year
ago but slightly ahead of the company's recent guidance of 4.3
First half like-for-like sales fell 0.2 percent, although
total revenue grew 0.9 percent to 87.4 million pounds.
Underlying sales in the 8 weeks since to May 25 fell 2.6
Topps, which also sells flooring and trades from some 320
stores, said it would make 2 million pounds of cost savings in
the remainder of the year. The group also noted a recent
improvement in the UK housing market but said the positive
impact on trading would lag any sustained recovery.
Before Wednesday's results Topps Tiles was, on average,
expected to report a full-year pretax profit of 13.32 million
pounds, according to analysts.
Shares in the firm closed at 66.87 pence on Tuesday, up 35
percent on six months ago, valuing the business at about 129