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Howdens profit jumps past pre-Covid levels as UK kitchen market grows

·2-min read
Howdens has almost 800 depots in the UK and also operates in France and the Irish Republic  (Howdens press picture)
Howdens has almost 800 depots in the UK and also operates in France and the Irish Republic (Howdens press picture)

Revenue and profit at Howdens jumped past pre-Covid levels for the first half of its financial year and the UK’s biggest supplier of kitchens to the building trade upped its assessment of the size of its home market.

Its shares topped the FTSE 100 leaderboard on Thursday, up 2.8% to 647p. The company reported an 86% rise in interim profit of £145 million compared with 2019, before the pandemic struck, a rise of 22% from the same period a year ago. Revenue reached £913 million, up 40% from 2019 and 16% year-on-year.

It also said there were “significant future growth opportunities” as it increased its estimate of the size of its core UK addressable market, to around £11 billion, from previous estimates of just over £6 billion. It stood by existing guidance for the full year.

“People are using their spaces at home differently,” Andrew Livingston, chief executive, told the Standard. “As we work more at home, we may put in a home office, we may take down the wall between the kitchen and the living space, so the family are together and we do see people doing more and more of that.”

Gross margins improved year-on-year to almost 62%, with “disciplined pricing” helping to offset increased costs. Howdens produces about a third of everything it sells and has two UK manufacturing sites, helping it handle supply chain issues.

It also said it would “continue to manage inflationary pressures according to market conditions” in order to “achieve the right balance between pricing and volume,” against “record revenue comparatives.”

Livingston said there was “momentum” going into the second half of the year, which includes Howdens peak trading period, adding: “We’re a business that supports trade customers, builders and kitchen specialists. And they are very busy.”

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