Howdens kickstarts 2024 with increased revenue

Trade kitchen giant Howdens has reported an increase in revenue for the first four periods (16 weeks) of 2024.

After reporting a decline in both sales and profits in its 2023 financial year, the kitchen giant reported that its UK revenue in the first 16 weeks of 2024 was 5.4% ahead of the same period of the previous year.

The company also said it was ahead 4% on a “same depot basis”, which excludes revenue from any depots that opened in 2023 and 2024.

The update comes after the implementation of “modest price increases across all geographies, that are being retained at acceptable levels” as Howdens continues to maintain “the right balance between margin and volume”, in line with ongoing market conditions.

International revenue was also up 4.6% in the period ahead of the prior year and marginally down (-0.1%) on a same depot basis.

Commenting on Howdens’ current trading, Andrew Livingston chief executive, said: “We have made an encouraging start to the year with trading in line with our expectations. We are also continuing to make good progress in implementing our strategic initiatives which drive profitable growth. We are on track with the outlook for 2024, while mindful of the second half weighting of sales from our Autumn peak trading period.”

In its previous trading update in February, the company said that it had seen a 0.3% drop in sales to £2.31 billion and an 19.3% dip in pre-tax profits from £405.8 million in 2022 to £327.6m in 2023.

In 2023, Howdens opened 33 new depots, bring the total to 840, and revamped 89 older depots. It also opened 10 international depots with 65 trading in France and 10 in the Republic of Ireland.

The company plans to open 30 more UK and 10 more international depots in 2024 and revamp 85. To date, six new UK depots have been opened, with one new international depot in the Republic of Ireland.

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