Carpet sales recover strongly for Victoria

By John Corser | Kidderminster | Business | Published:

Carpets group Victoria has seen sales recover strongly as lockdowns have ended in the countries in which it operates.

Traditional carpet weaving at Victoria in Kidderminster

Kidderminster-based Victoria said that in the first three months of the 2020-2021 financial year revenue was £118 million – 64 per cent of the pre-Covid-19 budget.

In April it was £20.2m, May £36.4 and last month £61.4m.

Encouragingly, trading has continued to be strong since June, with order flow increasing in the UK where non-essential retail only began trading two weeks before the end of the quarter.

Based on feedback from retailers, it is the board’s view that whilst some of the revenue growth may be due to pent-up demand, much of the increase comes from a renewed focus by consumers on renovating their homes following the lockdown.

For the year to March 28 revenue was up from £566.8m to a record £621.5m, but the loss before tax grew from £3.7m to £64m as due to the impact of Covid-19 the board has prudently impaired goodwill on the balance sheet by £50m.

Executive chairman Geoff Wilding said Victoria had continued to grow both organically and by acquisition in 2019-2020, despite the significant impact of Covid-19 on the business from late-February, which turned what would have been a very good year into a good year.

"Revenues, underlying earnings, and operating margins, all continued to grow despite the challenging market conditions.

"Importantly, the group’s operational managers have executed flawlessly on their recovery plan following the ending of the various lockdowns and I am delighted to confirm that current revenues are running ahead of our pre-Covid-19 budget for 2020-2021.

"Apart from organic growth and margin expansion from operational synergies, both of which we expect to continue over the next 12 months, there remains an enormous market opportunity for Victoria to expand both in the UK and internationally by acquisition. Events of the last few months have caused some company owners to reassess their priorities and some material acquisitions may become possible over the next few months at very attractive prices. Whilst cautious, given the current economic environment, we remain focused on increasing both earnings and free cash flow per share.”

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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