Buoyant first quarter trading at Howden Joinery

Kitchens and joinery products group Howden Joinery said trading so far this year has been solid and in line with company expectations as it plans to open a string of new joinery depots.

Kitchens and joinery products group Howden Joinery said trading so far this year has been solid and in line with company expectations as it plans to open a string of new joinery depots.

UK revenue rose 9.3% in the first 16 weeks of 2013 from the same period last year. On a same depot basis it increased 7.6%. Sales during the period benefited from an additional week of trading.

On a like-for-like (LFL) basis revenue was up by 4.1% while gross profit margins were in line with market expectations for the full year.

"We are currently planning to open around 20 to 30 new depots this year. With one new depot having been opened so far, Howden Joinery is now trading from 530 depots in the UK," the group explained.

The group currently operates from 530 depots in the UK.

"We have reconfigured our transport operations to better reflect the geographical mix of our sales in the UK and improve service to our depots. This will result in an exceptional charge and cash cost in respect of continuing operations in the first half of 2013 of about £5m."

Otherwise Howden said it was pleased with its performance so far this year, "whilst remaining cautious about the outlook for the rest of the year, given the prevailing economic environment."

CJ

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