New depots will build in extra costs for Howdens

Builders merchant Howdens has said that it expects an incremental cost from building more new depots than originally announced.

In a trading statement for the period between June 17 and November 3, which includes its key October and November trading months, Howdens said it delivered “a good trading performance” and expected to add a total of around 33 depots in the UK in 2018.

It said it was “on track” to meet its board’s expectations for its full financial year, which will be released on February 28, 2019.

Howdens said its UK depots’ total revenue for the period increased by 7.5% and by 6.1% on a same depot basis on the comparable periods in 2017.

It said the increase in revenue was driven mainly by volume growth.

Howdens also said that as a result of timings, it expected an additional working capital outflow at the end of financial year 2018 but to collect £50 million of receipts at the start of 2019 financial year.

The founder of Howden Joinery Group Matthew Ingle, who built the fitted kitchen business from a concept to the UK’s biggest kitchen supplier to the trade, which will have 694 depots at the end of the year, stepped down from his role as chief executive in the spring.

When Howdens reports its full-year earnings next February, it will be the first under its new chief executive, former Screwfix boss Andrew Livingstone.

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