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Profits on the rise at bathroom supplies group as half-year sales top £200m

The bathroom supplies group behind the Triton and Johnson Tiles brands has said its full-year profits are set to be “significantly ahead of the board’s previous expectations” after announcing a strong first half.

Shower and tiles maker Norcros, which is headquartered in Cheshire, added that it expects to report an underlying operating profit for the six months to October 3, 2021, of no less than £21m, a rise from £12.8m in 2020 and from £17.4m in 2019.

Group revenue for the period is also set to be about £200m, up from £135.3m in 2020 and £181.2m in 2019.

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In the UK, the group’s brands also include Merlyn, Vado, Croydex, Abode and Norcros Adhesives. Its South Africa brands are Tile Africa, Johnson Tiles South Africa, TAL and House of Plumbing.

A statement issued to the London Stock Exchange said: “Our UK business has continued to perform strongly, with revenue for the 26 week period 18% higher than in 2019 on a like for like basis reflecting increased demand in the RMI sector and market share gains, with Triton and Merlyn continuing to perform extremely well.

“Our South African business has also continued to outperform, with revenue for the 26 week period 20% higher than in 2019 on a constant currency like for like basis, with Tile Africa continuing to benefit from higher demand and market share gains in the retail renovation market.”

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On its outlook, the group added: “Our market outperformance in the first half of this financial year reflects the strength of our focussed operating model, our market leading brands, broad distribution channels, well-developed supply chain infrastructure and stock availability.

“The strength of our leading customer proposition has resulted in an excellent performance, and we expect to report an underlying operating profit in the first half of the year of no less than £21m (2020: £12.8m, 2019 £17.4m).

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“As previously referenced, supply chain challenges, increased energy costs, inflationary cost pressure and a normalisation of consumer spending patterns mean that uncertain market conditions are likely to prevail during the remainder of the financial year.

“Notwithstanding these factors, and based on the excellent first half performance and the group’s strong revenue momentum, we expect underlying operating profit for the year to 31 March 2022 to be significantly ahead of the board’s previous expectations.”

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