Howdens sees profit hike

Howden Joinery UK has reported an 11.9% year-on-year increase in revenue to £1.2 billion at the end of 2015.

Operating profit rose from £189.8m to £221.9m and gross profit margin was 64.3%, compared with 63.7% in 2014.

The kitchen supplier saw a number of expansions in 2015, opening 30 new depots in the UK, bringing the total to 619.

The company invested £45.9m in supply operations to support further growth. It’s trail in France was also extended, with five new depots opened as well as one introduced in Holland.

Howdens added 35,000 new accounts to its network in 2015, bringing the total to 425,000.

It expects further growth in 2016, reporting a 7.1% increase in revenue in the first two periods, in-line with the group’s expectations.

Chief executive Matthew Ingle said: “Howdens delivered another good set of results in 2015. Sales grew to £1.2bn, profitability increased and we saw strong cash flow. As a result, we are recommending an increase in our dividend and announcing an additional £55m cash return to shareholders by way of a share repurchase programme.

“We are well positioned and look forward to continued growth in 2016. We will continue to invest in the business, to ensure that we can take advantage of the short and long-term growth opportunities that we foresee, and to address the challenges of a more complex market and security of supply.

“Looking at 2016, trading conditions seen in 2015 have continued into the early part of the year. As well as planning to open 30 new depots in the UK, we plan to open two more depots in northern France, a second larger outlet further south in France and a similar outlet in Germany.

“However, we remain watchful, given the increased uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook and will react accordingly, should things change.”

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