Lords boost half-year sales and profits

Builders merchant group Lords has posted record first-half Group revenues of £222.6 m,  a 3.9% increase overall compared with the same period in 2022, although like-for-like sales showed a slight  decrease of 4.4%.

Lords Sutton branch 1

Operating profit was £8.1m, a 11.6% increase, and the Board has stated it remains confident of achieving its strategic targets of £500 million revenue by 2024, and improving EBITDA margins to 7.5% in the medium term.

The merchanting division delivered a robust performance with revenues of £109.4 m, compared with 2022’s £105.9 m representing growth of 3.3%, although still a decrease of 5.1% on a LFL basis.

Despite a tricky trading environment, the Plumbing and Heating division saw a solid first half with revenues of £113.2 m.

Mr Central Heating branch expansion plans continue with the eleventh branch opened in Edinburgh ahead of a planned acceleration of 40 new store openings over the next five years.

The Group acquired Chiltern Timber Supplies Limited on 3 April 2023, and Alloway Timber on 1 September 2023, adding five branches to the Lords Merchanting division in complementary locations in the South East of England.

Shanker Patel, Chief Executive Officer of Lords, said: “Lords performed well in the period recording another record half year, despite tougher market conditions.  These results are testament to our outstanding colleagues and continued execution of our strategy, which when combined, offer our customers a continually improving proposition.

Lords 037 copy lr shanker

“We have a substantial opportunity to grow the Group’s current < 1% market share through attracting new customers, a greater share of existing customer wallet, product range extension, new geographies, digital capability and value added acquisitions. Our focus on the essential and resilient ‘Repair’ sector of RMI positions us more defensively during periods of volatility.

“The Board is still mindful of accumulating short-term macroeconomic conditions to which the Group is not immune and expects trading conditions to be more challenging in the second half of the year against strong comparators.  However, we anticipate Lord’s agility, entrepreneurialism and strong positioning will enable the Group to deliver its strategic target of £500 million revenue by 2024 and EBITDA margins of 7.5% in the medium term.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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