28 April 2011
Howden Joinery Group Plc ('the Group') is today publishing its Interim Management Statement covering the year to date. Trading information is in relation to the first four periods of 2011 (to 16 April 2011).
The Board is pleased to report that the business has performed satisfactorily so far this year. In addition, further 'legacy' property agreements have reduced aggregate future costs by around £17m.
In the first four periods (16 weeks) of 2011, Howden Joinery UK depot revenue was up 7.8%, increasing by 5.2% on a same depot basis.
Direct comparisons with last year are made difficult by a number of factors. These include the impact of cold weather at the start of last year on the pattern of trading, and the timing of bank holidays and the implementation of price increases.
Taking these factors into account, management estimate that underlying sales growth is consistent with market expectations for total sales growth for the full year of around 5%.
So far in 2011, the gross profit margin is similar to that seen in 2010 as a whole.
The Group continues to manage its 'legacy property' portfolio proactively, the liability for a further five properties having been removed since the publication of our 2010 Preliminary Results on 3 March 2011. These transactions involved making cash payments to the landlords of the properties totalling £5.2m, in return for being released from all obligations in respect of these leases. In so doing, total future costs of around £17m have been mitigated.
For the year to date, the leases of eight properties have been terminated at a cost of £9.1m, thereby mitigating total future costs of around £30m. With two leases having expired during the period, the Group now has 30 legacy properties remaining.
With five new depots having been opened so far this year, Howden Joinery is now trading from 494 depots.
There have been no material changes to the financial position of the Group in the period save as a result of the usual impact of the level of trading and those other matters disclosed herein.
Matthew Ingle, Chief Executive commented:
"We are pleased with our performance so far this year, which is consistent with market expectations for 2011. The strengths and uniqueness of our business model, and our continuing investment in all aspects of the business, set us apart and continue to enable us to make progress in the ongoing tough market conditions."
Next scheduled announcement
The Group will release its 2011 Half Yearly Report on 21 July 2011.
|Gary Rawlinson||+44 (0)207 535 1127|
|Head of Investor Relations||+44 (0)7989 397527|
|Brunswick||+44 (0)207 404 5959|