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Wickes report strong 13.3% sales growth in 2021

Wickes Group plc has reported strong 2021 sales up 13.3% versus 2020 & 18.9% versus 2019. Wickes expect to report adjusted Profits before Tax of “no less than £83m”.

The DIY & gardening market has undergone a fundamental shift since the start of the pandemic with growth in the high teens for most retailers. However, the market is definitely seeing growth tailing off compared to the exceptional second half of 2020. Wickes’ fourth quarter sales for the 13 weeks to 25 December 2021 was 5.0% lower than the same period in 2020. Their ‘Do it for me’ (DIFM) category of kitchens and bathrooms was still in growth, up 1.6%. Sales in their ‘Core’ category of DIY materials was 6.8% lower than last years exceptional period, but still 25.9% higher than what would be a pre-pandemic ‘normal’ period in 2019.

The financial statement noted:

“Core sales in Q4 were supported by continued strong performance in local trade, where home renovations continue to drive robust order books for trade customers”. TradePro membership and associated revenue continue to grow strongly, driven by Wickes’ digital capability. Wickes also launched a DIY app successfully in November, “with strong conversion rates”

“DIFM delivered sales were strong in October and November, as we progressed through the elevated order book, but weakened in December from a higher incidence of Covid disruption and self-isolation ahead of the holiday period. As a result, the DIFM year-end order book has more than doubled on a two year basis. This, plus an encouraging lead and order profile from the winter sale, will support DIFM sales in the current year”.

“As previously guided, the year end cash position has moderated from the half year, impacted by the second half weighting of capex and IT separation costs, and dividend payments. As expected, inventory levels have also increased as a result of cost price inflation, and the recovery of stock levels from the prior year. Given our strong balance sheet, we have moved further on inventory rebuild in order to protect the business against the risk of any future supply chain disruption”.

 


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