Howden Joinery mulls dividend payments next year after strong autumn peak trading period

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Howden Joinery Group PLC (LON:HWDN) said it is considering to recommence payments of dividends next year if trading continues as expected.

The supplier of kitchens and joinery products to the building trade experienced a strong autumn peak trading period due to pent up demand since lockdown and a high level of stock availability.

Sales between June 14 and October 31 rose by 10% in the UK, with gross margin ahead of the first half of 2020 but lower than the same period in 2019.

In the same period, revenue increased by 33% and by 25% in the French and Belgian depots respectively.

Total revenue in the year to date was up 8% compared to 2019.

The FTSE 250 firm also announced it plans to repay the £22mln received under the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme before the end of the year, while it does not plan to make any further claims under the programme.

The company also intends to repay around £8mln of business rates that were waived by certain local councils, as well as other deferred payments, such as taxes and pension deficit contributions, all before the end of the year.

Howdens continues to work on opening 15 depots in the UK in 2020, taking the total number of depots in the UK to around 747, and to refurbish around 30 older depots to the updated format. Four new depots are expected to be opened in France.

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