Topps Tiles floored by weather and soft market

Sales at tiling and flooring retailer Topps Tiles slumped in second-quarter sales, which the company has blamed on a combination of extreme weather, the timing of Easter and a softening of the underlying market

TOPPS Tiles has reported a slump in second-quarter sales, blaming a combination of extreme weather, the timing of Easter and a softening of the underlying market.

The group said like-for-like sales in the period dropped 2.2 per cent, a sharp reversal from the first quarter when comparable sales grew 3.4 per cent.

"While we estimate that short-term weather factors in late February and March, and the timing of an earlier Easter, account for around 1.6 per cent of the second-quarter like-for-like sales reduction, it is also clear that that there has been a softening of the underlying market," Topps said.

For the first half of the year, like-for-like sales grew just 0.6 per cent, while total revenue rose from £106.6 million to £109.4 million.

Topps has been grappling with a slowing housing market and what it has called a more "challenging macro-economic environment", which have affected its performance.

However, the firm insisted that its strategy to turn itself around is on track, adding that it has "continued to outperform the market".

Figures for the first half mark an improvement on last year, when like-for-like sales fell 1.9 per cent.

Boss Matthew Williams said: "After a strong start to the year, market conditions have become more challenging over the second quarter.

"While the business has responded well with a performance ahead of the overall tile market, we are retaining a cautious view of market conditions for the remainder of the year."

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