Howdens’ results herald expansion

Results for 2010 at joinery supplier Howden Joinery’s were so good that the group is planning to expand further, possibly to over 650 depots.

Pre-tax profits jumped by £32.2m to £100.9m despite the tough economic backdrop.

Operating profits in the year to December 26 rose to £107.4m from £79.5m and gross profit margins increased to 59.8% from 56.2% in 2009.

Revenue from Howden’s UK depots increased by 5.1% to £795.1m – up 3.6% on a like-for-like basis – with group revenue rising to £807.9m (2009: £769.5m).

27 new depots were opened during 2010, bringing the total to 489. The group “remains committed to its view that the number of depots in the UK can be increased to at least 650 in the longer term”, it said.

CEO Matthew Ingle said:”Against a tough economic backdrop, Howdens has produced outstanding results for 2010, reflecting the efforts of all our staff, and our unique and robust business model.

“The performance of all aspects of the business has underlined our assessment of the scale of the opportunities before Howdens.

“Along with the continued strength of the business and its resilient financial performance, these provide the foundations for us to increase our investments in the long term growth of the business.

“Nonetheless, we expect market conditions to continue to be challenging this year and we remain cautious about the outlook.

“As in recent years, we will continue to adapt our business model to the market and economic conditions we encounter.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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