Fast growing Likewise Group posts first quarter 17.8% sales rise
Likewise Group plc, the fastest growing UK floor coverings distributor, has reported a major increase in sales in the first quarter of 2023, up 19.7% on the same quarter last year.
Across the Likewise-branded businesses, revenue has grown by 25.7%, which the company says reflects a continually improving return on the investment in the sales infrastructure.
The news comes as Likewise announced that the final piece in the group’s logistics jigsaw was close to being confirmed.
Chief executive Tony Brewer said: “Over the last two years the group has made significant progress in developing a comprehensive logistics infrastructure.”
In January 2021, the 80,000 sq ft distribution hub was opened in Leeds, followed in the second half of 2021 with the establishment of the 57,000 sq ft high bay Birmingham Distribution Hub, which became operational in 2022.
In January 2022, the Newcastle business moved into a much-improved logistics centre. The Newbury Logistics Centre opened in July 2022 enabling the group to develop business with customers in the south of England.
The logistics infrastructure continues to develop with the Likewise London business and Floors by Lewis Abbott completing their move to Sidcup in January 2023, providing much improved service to customers in the south east of England.
Likewise Group has now taken possession of the 47,000 sq ft high bay distribution centre in Glasgow. Racking systems and a cutting table are currently being installed and this facility will become operational during Spring 2023 which will allow the business in Scotland to enlarge significantly and also provide additional stocking capacity to support the Likewise logistics network in England and Wales.
Mr Brewer added: “Focus continues to be on relocating A&A in Manchester. While this has been ongoing for some time, we are optimistic of an imminent solution. This is the final piece in this stage of the group’s logistics development.”
He said that Valley Wholesale Carpets Ltd, acquired in January 2022, continues to be an important contributor to group profitability and cashflow, reflecting a particularly positive return on the investment. Valley has now started supplying customers in South Wales and will imminently commence trading in the south west of England.
The group’s distribution hubs in Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Sudbury, the Manchester distribution centre, plus facilities in Newcastle, Newbury and Sidcup in addition to the Valley network in Erith, Derby and Newport now total 15 million cubic feet.
Mr Brewer said: “This will allow Likewise Group to meet its medium term objectives.
“We stated in January that a key focus for this year was to achieve an improving return on the extensive investment in sales representatives and point of sale displays. While we are still in the early stages of this journey with many opportunities before us, there is no doubt that significant progress has been made with a 25.7% increase in Likewise branded revenue.
“Likewise will continue to take a proactive approach to further sales and marketing investment in specific geographical locations. While being very much focused on organic growth, the group will consider further acquisitions if they provide the appropriate strategic rationale.”
In conjunction with all of the above, the group has created the logistics capability to double its current cutting capacity for carpet, residential vinyl and artificial grass.
Mr Brewer said: “This is consistent with the group’s aspirations to have a business well in excess of £200 million group revenue in the medium term.”
Likewise has now become a key funding partner of Carpet Recycling UK, reflecting the group’s contribution to the floor covering industry combined with the wider environmental responsibilities.
The group is also investing in initiatives to recycle cardboard and polythene in addition to 73% of the group’s fleet of cars being electric or hybrid. The group will continue to examine opportunities to improve its ESG credentials.
Likewise Group has a strong balance sheet with net assets of circa £40 million, including freehold property of £21.4 million.
Mr Brewer added: “The group is inherently cash generative which will accelerate as the speed of investment reduces from 2024. 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 2023.”
Following research by Business Insider Magazine, Likewise was announced as the fastest growing business based in the Midlands over the last three years culminating in 2021. In 2022 the Group grew by a further 104%.
Mr Brewer concluded: “Q1 has been positive, and the group will continue to take market share in existing geographical regions, notwithstanding the huge opportunity as the group moves into new territories.
“The board would again like to thank all 466 staff and management, suppliers, customers and shareholders for their ongoing support and look forward to the future with increasing optimism.”
Likewise will release its Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2022 on 16 May 2023.
Likewise Group includes Likewise Rugs & Matting, Floors by Lewis Abbott, H&V Carpets, Valley Wholesale Carpets and Delta Carpets as well as Likewise-branded divisions in the north, north-east, Midlands, south and south-east and Scotland.
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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.