Howdens revenue takes a hit due to “economic headwinds”

Trade kitchen giant Howdens has reported a drop in UK revenue for the period to October 28 2023.

In a trading update the company said that it had seen a 2% dip in revenue for the period ending October 28, 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, with like-for-like sales down 3.3%.

In the report Howdens stated that it delivered a “robust performance” in the latter half of the year, despite “continuing macro-economic headwinds”. It also said its underlying performance was consistent with its “record” sales in the previous year.

The trade giant also warned that the reported figures may not accurately reflect the strong sales of made-to-order products in the few days before confirming revenue figures, as these products have longer lead times.

Howdens’ international revenue figures were much more positive. In the first six months of the year, Howdens saw international revenue growth of almost 30% over 2022’s figures.

International revenue has grown even more significantly, with 2023 year-to-date growth being reported at more than 100% over 2019’s revenue.

Howdens’ chief executive, Andrew Livingston, commented: “Howdens has continued to trade well since the half year and has gained market share. UK depot sales during our peak trading period remained consistent with last year’s record performance.

“This was a significant achievement by our teams given the macro-economic headwinds and demonstrates the value of our culture and a differentiated business model. Our balance sheet and cash generation remain strong, and we continue to invest in our strategic initiatives to develop the operating model, which strengthens our competitive advantage.”

Looking ahead to its economic future, Howdens said it still maintains its full year expectations for 2023, although admitted that the final figure may be towards the lower end of its original forecast given the current tough economy.

This forecast is consistent with Livingston’s comments from earlier this year, where he acknowledged that the kitchen sector is currently facing “challenging” economic conditions.

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