July 1, 2020 / 8:03 AM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 1-Topps Tiles sales pick up as stores reopen in the midst of lockdowns

(Adds analyst comment, details from statement, shares)

July 1 (Reuters) - British tile retailer Topps Tiles Plc said on Wednesday its weekly sales towards the end of June were ahead of its revised expectations, as it sped up the pace of store reopenings following the coronavirus lockdowns.

While third-quarter sales were down 53% year-on-year, average sales per week improved to 3.9 million pounds ($4.83 million) in the final week of June when all stores reopened from 0.8 million pounds in April at the peak of the lockdowns.

Analysts at Liberum said the recovery was better than they had expected, helped by well-planned store re-openings, strong customer demand and a robust online performance.

Shares in the company climbed 4% by 0729 GMT in a low-volume session.

All of the company’s UK stores were shut in mid-March when the country went into a nationwide lockdown, leaving Topps Tiles solely reliant on its online business, which saw a 139% spike in sales during the quarter.

“Activity levels across June have increased steadily as the construction industry has returned to work,” said the company, which sells bathroom, wall and floor tiles from its more than 350 stores globally.

Topps Tiles said the social distancing measures at it stores had not significantly hampered trade due to relatively low customer footfall and availability of space. ($1 = 0.8077 pounds) (Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh and Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Rashmi Aich)

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