Howdens upbeat despite tougher market conditions

by | Jul 20, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Howden Joinery Group left its full-year expectations unchanged on Thursday, despite seeing more “challenging” market conditions in the first half.
The specialist kitchen and joinery supplier saw revenues rise nearly 2% in the six months to 10 June, to £926.9m. Within that, UK sales were ahead nearly 1%, at £895.1m, while international revenues jumped 34% to £31.8m.

However, higher costs meant operating profits fell £32.1m to £117m while pre-tax profits were down 23% at £111.9m.

Selling and distribution costs and administrative expenses rose to £448.4m from £415.9m, largely because of planned investments in new depots, reformatting stores, range optimisation and digital expansion.

Andrew Livingston, chief executive, said: “Howdens performed well in the first half in a more challenging market place, making progress on the record year we delivered in 2022.

“We are delivering value to our customers at all price points as we continue to gain market share, and we are well set up for further success in the second half, which includes our autumn peak trading period.

“While we are cautious about the short-term macroeconomic outlook for our markets, we remain confident that Howdens will make good progress in 2023 and our full-year expectations are unchanged.”

Looking to current trading, Howdens noted that its builder customers were “busy”, although activity levels were normalising compared to an exceptional 2022.

It continued: “We remain confident of delivering growth ahead of markets, while generating strong cash flow, and attractive returns for shareholders over the medium-term.”

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