UK’s Topps Tiles flags persistent weak demand in 2024 after lower H1 volumes

(Reuters) -Britain’s largest tile retailer Topps Tiles said on Wednesday subdued demand in the domestic repair and maintenance sector, especially for big-ticket projects, persisted into 2024, with lower volumes impacting its half-year profit.

Fortunes of companies such as Topps Tiles are firmly tied to the health of the housing repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) segment, which has been under some pressure as Britons continue to curb spending in the wake of broader economic woes.

The UK housing market has seen signs of stability at the start of 2024 on easing mortgage rates, after battling muted demand for most of last year, but the Bank of England delaying interest rate cuts and macro-economic woes have tempered hopes of a better-paced recovery.

Topps Tiles, which has over 300 stores across the UK, said total group sales in the first-half period ended March 30 were 122.6 million pounds ($154.18 million), down 5.9% from a year earlier.

The company said trading in its online businesses remained strong and reaffirmed that the annual profits would be weighted towards the second half of the financial year.

Travis Perkins, Britain’s biggest supplier of building materials, last month said it was planning for another year of challenging demand amid a slowdown in new-build housing and renovations.

($1 = 0.7952 pounds)

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


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