Likewise Group plc, the Birmingham AIM-listed floor coverings distributor, has announced that trading in the first three months of 2022 is ahead of internal budgets.
Valley Wholesale Carpets Ltd, which operates autonomously and was acquired by Likewise in January 2022, is also trading ahead of initial expectations.
Chief executive Tony Brewer and the board of the fast growing company congratulated the management, sales representatives and all staff in Likewise, and group businesses A&A, Factory Flooring, H&V and Valley, for their excellent contribution to the performance of the business.
He added that while the first three months can only ever provide limited indication of the year as a whole, early trends are positive, and the board remains confident in meeting market expectations for 2022.
“The horrific events in Ukraine are tragic for the people and devastation caused. The inevitable consequences are impacting the cost of our products.
“These include manufacturers’ energy costs in production, increases to the costs of various raw materials and transportation. The Group’s trade brands will issue a new price list on 1 May to reflect cost price increases. It is very difficult to predict the wider economic repercussions of the current macro environment and resulting effect on consumers’ disposable income,” he said.
Notwithstanding this short-term uncertainty, Likewise continues to develop its logistics infrastructure. Birmingham is now operational which doubles the carpet capacity for the Likewise branded businesses. Construction is underway for a new distribution centre in Glasgow and the business in Newcastle has now moved into an enlarged facility adjacent to its previous location.
The search continues to relocate A&A into significantly larger premises in the North West. The Group is also establishing a new logistics centre in Newbury to service the South of England.
The Group has obtained planning permission to extend the freehold distribution centre in Sudbury and is currently working on constructing the extension in the most cost effective method while keeping with the original design concept. This development will allow Likewise Rugs & Matting to increase product offering and service to its diverse customer base.
Construction is also due to commence to extend the freehold distribution centre in Derby by 20%, and a new carpet cutting machine is on order to increase the cutting capacity in Valley.
When this machine is operational, it will allow Valley and Likewise to operate from the currently unused distribution centre in Newport, South Wales. This will take both businesses into new geographical territories of South Wales and South West England.
Likewise continues to increase market presence through the recruitment of experienced sales representatives and has numerous point of sales initiatives including display stands, lecterns, wall stands and sample books. All of these initiatives further establish the Likewise trade brand.
Mr Brewer added; “In the immediate term, Likewise believes it has the supplier and customer relationships, combined with excellent management and staff, to continue to outperform the marketplace. This is consistent with the development of Likewise, particularly over the last two years.
“While there are short term global and economic issues, the group is confident that establishing the enlarged infrastructure outlined above will allow Likewise to achieve its medium term objectives and beyond.”
The acquisition of Delta announced last Friday (1 April) confirms the Group’s intention to make strategic additions, particularly where they can increase or create capacity. This will augment the organic opportunities to enlarge the current businesses of Valley, A&A, Factory Flooring, H&V plus the Likewise branded businesses through continued investment in sales teams and increased market presence through sampling and display.
Likewise Group plc will release its final results for the year ended 31 December 2021 on 24 May 2022.
As previously announced, total revenue in 2021 increased by 29% to circa £61 million (2020: circa £47 million) and management expects that the adjusted profit before tax for the 2021 financial year will be circa £1.6 million.
The Group also intends to commence a progressive dividend policy and declare its maiden dividend alongside the announcement of its 2021 Final Results to be approved by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.
Tony Brewer, Chief Executive of Likewise said: “Notwithstanding challenges in the immediate term, the Group is now well established and has plans to further enlarge its geographic reach. With the investment in distribution centres, sales resource and market presence, we are confident of exceeding our medium and long term aspirations as previously communicated.
“We would like to thank all of our staff, suppliers, customers and shareholders for their support and look forward to a positive future”.
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Issued on behalf of Likewise Group plc, Unit 4, Radial Park, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham B37 7YN
For further information, please contact:
Andy Skinner, at ASAP PR – 07990 978257
Likewise Group plc is a distributor of floorcoverings and mattings established with the intention of consolidating the domestic and commercial floorcoverings markets to become one of the UK’s largest distributors in this sector. The UK floor and wall covering market is worth circa £3.2 billion and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 2.1% from 2019 to 2024 to reach £3.5 billion, split between the residential, commercial, public and industrial markets. Likewise Group’s strategy is to focus on the residential and commercial sectors.