30 April 2009
Galiform Plc, the owner of Howden Joinery, is today publishing its Interim Management Statement covering the first four trading periods of 2009.
The Board is pleased to report that the business has performed resiliently so far this year.
In the first four periods (16 weeks) of 2009, ending 18th April, Howden Joinery UK depot revenue (1) was down 8.8%, declining 10.3% on a same depot (2) basis. Trading conditions continue to be stable, with sales performance so far this year remaining on a par with that seen in the last three periods of 2008, when total sales fell by around 8%.
As previously indicated, we are seeing the impact of the weakening of the pound against the US dollar and euro. However, we have recently introduced a small price increase. At this stage, it should be noted that the price increase has only been in place for a short period and that over 70% of annual turnover typically occurs in the remainder of the year.
The Group continues to proactively manage its 'legacy property' portfolio. Agreement has been reached with one landlord that will further reduce Galiform's financial exposure to properties that had until November 2008 been occupied by MFI Retail operations. In return for being released from all obligations in respect of the lease, Galiform has made a cash payment to the landlord totalling £0.5m, which is equivalent to less than twice the annual cost. This reduces the number of guaranteed properties to 38, the current net annual rent and rates of which total approximately £17.5m.
In the first half of the year, payments totalling less than £1m, primarily in respect of rent, are expected to be made to landlords of properties that had been occupied by Sofa Workshop for which Galiform was the guarantor of the leases.
The triennial actuarial review of the Group's pension schemes as at 1 April 2008 that is being carried out on behalf of the trustees continues. Details of the outcome of this will be announced when the review is complete.
Other than as disclosed in this release, there have been no material changes to the financial position of the Group.
Half Yearly Report
Galiform will release its 2009 Half Yearly Financial Report on 22 July 2009.
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