Topps Tiles beats forecasts with jump in sales

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Britain’s largest tile retailer today said a strong rise in trade last month helped it make a better-than-expected start to its new financial year.

Topps Tiles, which has 328 stores, said like-for-like sales during the 13 weeks to 28 December were 9.3 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier. That compares with an increase of 6 to 7 per cent pencilled in by analysts.

Chief executive Matthew Williams said: “Whilst we are encouraged by this and remain optimistic about prospects for 2014, at this early stage in the year we remain cautious of projecting forward this level of performance.”

Meanwhile, homewares retailer Dunelm reported a 0.9 per cent dip in like-for-like sales for the 26 weeks to 28 December, although chief executive Nick Wharton said the firm had traded “robustly” and sales had returned to growth in the second quarter.

Wharton said the chain expects to deliver a pre-tax profit of about £61.5 million for the first half, up from £59.8m a year ago.