Howdens had a record year in 2021 with group revenue of £2.09 billion – up by 35.3% compared with 2020 (£1.55bn).
Pre-tax profits for the year more than doubled (up 110.6%) from £185.3 million in 2020 to £390.3m in 2021.
Revenue from depots just in the UK was £2.04 billion – 35.4% ahead of 2020 and 33.7% ahead on the same depot basis.
Howdens opened 31 new depots in 2021, bringing the total to 778 at the end of the year. In addition, 62 depots were refurbished to its new format and made a total of 210 depots in its new style.
Howdens chief executive Andrew Livingston said: “2021 was a very successful year for Howdens as we both delivered record financial results and progressed our strategic plans for the business. Our performance demonstrates the strength of our trade-only, in-stock local business model and our ability to meet heightened demand for our products.
“I would like to express my thanks to our 11,000 employees for their dedication and commitment to delivering outstanding service to our customers against a continued backdrop of Covid-19 and supply chain challenges.”
Like most kitchen manufacturers, the start of 2020 was difficult, and Howdens’s sales plummeted in the first half of 2020 during the first lockdown. However, sales did bounce back by November 2020, and total revenue had increased between the middle of June and the end of October compared with 2019.
In 2021, 17 new kitchen ranges were introduced, with some being in the higher-end price range. Changes were made in the manufacturing facility as there was a continued investment in upgrading machinery that increased capacity for kitchen frontals, solid work surfaces, architrave and skirting products.
Looking to the future and the plans for 2022, Livingston said: “We believe there is now potential for at least 950 depots in the UK, and we are expanding our presence in France and the Republic of Ireland. We continue to invest in our depot network, market-leading products, manufacturing and supply chain, and digital capabilities, all of which improve service to our customers and help us take advantage of market opportunities.
“Our robust balance sheet gives us the flexibility to continue to invest in our growth plans for the business at the same time as delivering enhanced returns to shareholders through ordinary dividends and share buy-backs.”
In 2022, Howdens has already acquired Sheridan in a bid to sell more higher-priced kitchens. There are also plans to introduce 20 new kitchens in 2022, which includes kitchens at the entry-level as a way to provide kitchens for all price points.