Victoria swings to loss

Carpets and floor coverings group Victoria has swung to a loss in what it described as "challenging" trading conditions, despite revenue rising in a "record year" for the firm.

The headquarters of Victoria in Kidderminster
The headquarters of Victoria in Kidderminster

The Kidderminster-based group has recorded a pre-tax loss of £3.7 million, swinging from a profit of £13.4 million the year before, despite revenue rising 35 per cent to £574.4 million from £424.8 million.

For the financial year that ended March 30, some of the revenue was offset by £12.7 million in exceptional reorganisation costs and a further £20.9 million in growth capital expenditure which included investment in its carpet, ceramics and underlay departments.

Victoria also paid £1.8 million in legal and advisory fees in relation to its £86.2 million acquisition of tile maker Ceramica Saloni..

Executive chair Geoff Wilding said: "Victoria achieved another record year in 2019 making it the sixth consecutive year of growth in underlying earnings; and free cash flow per share, and operating margins, despite continuingly challenging market conditions.

"There remains an enormous market opportunity for Victoria to expand both in the UK and internationally, by organically improving margins and earnings still further within our existing business, as well as by acquisition, where we believe opportunities we have identified will make a meaningful contribution to the group. We remain focused on increasing both earnings and free cash flow per share."

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