Revenue boost at Howdens from January price hike

KBB merchant Howden Joinery said sales revenue was up almost 6% for the 16 weeks to April 20 against the same period last year, which it attributed to raising prices at the start of the year.

On a like-for-like basis – excluding the opening of new depots – sales were up 3.9%.

It said this growth came despite strong volume comparators in the same period in 2018.

The firm said: “Looking forward, we are on track with our plans for the year as a whole, although remain watchful of market conditions and the further impact that Brexit may have on the economy.”

In February, reporting its full-year financial results, Howdens said that it had taken a number of measures to prepare for a worst-case Brexit scenario, including purchasing £15 million of extra stock and putting emergency plans in place with key suppliers.

The firm was one of a number of KBB firms, suppliers and retailers making contingency plans to prepare for the UK leaving the EU on March 29.

Trade body puts subdued builders’ merchants sales in Q4 of 2018 down to Brexit effect

This deadline was shifted at the 11th hour to October 31, while the Government continues to try to win over parliament with the terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Howdens said it had opened eight new depots so far this year, brining its total to 702 in the UK.

It said it plans to open an estimated 40 new depots in the UK during 2019, including five in Northern Ireland.

Howdens said it had bought 4.8m shares in the trading period at a cost of £24m to the business.

The group will release its 2019 half-year results on July 25.

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