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Gloucestershire Business News

Buoyed by profit, Howdens eyes depot expansion

Boosted by double-digit growth and smashing £2bn in annual turnover, kitchen and joinery supplier Howdens has revealed plans for 200 more depots.

Across Gloucestershire, the building trade giant already has stores at Gloucester, King Alfred Way and Kingsditch in Cheltenham, Cirencester, Quedgeley, Stroud and Tewkesbury. 

No confirmation has been given to Punchline as yet on whether the county will see an increase in its existing seven outlets.

Today's bold announcement follows on an annual profit rise of more than 50 per cent over pre-pandemic figures.

Andrew Livingston, chief executive, said: "During the year our teams have been adept at navigating the challenges of high inflation and supply chain disruption, while supporting customers with a market-leading product range, high stock availability and outstanding customer service.

"Our markets are large and fragmented which gives us a long-term opportunity for growth. In response, we are continuing to expand our depot network, improve product range, optimise manufacturing and supply chain, and develop digital capabilities."

Founded in 1995, Howden Joinery serves the building trade with kitchens, joinery and associated materials and also has depots in France, and Belgium. 

In the year to December 24, Howdens reported a group revenue rise of 10.8 per cent, with revenue of £2.3 billion, reflecting, it said, the strength of its business model for local, trade only and in-stock supply.

Livingston added: "We have a strong product line up and will place considerable emphasis on new product introductions with around 23 new kitchen ranges planned. We are increasing the number of ranges we offer at entry-level and mid-priced kitchen ranges and have refreshed our line-up of higher priced kitchens, a segment of the market where we are under-represented."

Pre-tax profit was up 4 per cent year-on-year to £405.8m, an increase of 55.7 per cent on 2019. Proposing a final dividend of 15.9p, the FTSE 250 group took the total for the year to 20.6p — up 5.6 per cent on last year. After launching a £250m programme last March, Howdens is also announcing a new £50 million share buyback.

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