Howdens reports 1.5% growth despite “challenging” environment

Kitchen supplier to the trade Howdens reported group sales of £936.9m for the first half of 2023, up 1.5% on last year, but profits have dipped.

25 Jul, 23

Kitchen supplier to the trade Howdens reported group sales of £936.9m for the first half of 2023, up 1.5% on last year, but profits have dipped.

Howdens expands business in Ireland

UK revenue was 0.6% ahead of the first half in 2022, while international revenue was up 33.6% on the same period last year, with Howdens reporting continued strong growth in France.

However operating profit dropped by 21.5% to £117m from £149.1m, last year, and profit before tax fell by 22.8% from £145m to £111.9m.

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The increase in operating costs were attributed to investment in ongoing strategic initiatives, including  nine new depots and 28 reformats, as well as investment in manufacturing and digital platforms.

Chief executive of Howdens Andrew Livingstone commented on the results: “Howdens performed well in the first half in a more challenging marketplace, making progress on the record year we delivered in 2022.

“Our trade-only, in-stock model is hard to replicate and compete with, and we are continuing to invest in our strategic initiatives to drive growth.

“We are delivering value to our customers at all price-points as we continue to gain market share and we are well set up for further success in the second half, which includes our Autumn peak trading period.

“The combination of more local depots in convenient locations, an ever-stronger product line-up, first-class service and high stock availability, continues to represent a compelling proposition for our customers.

“While we are cautious about the short-term macroeconomic outlook for our markets, we remain confident that Howdens will make good progress in 2023 and our full year expectations are unchanged.”

Founded in 1994 with 14 depots, Howdens now has 800 depots in the UK and has delivered over six million fitted kitchen units to the market.

In 2023, the company plans to expand its network with 33 new UK depots, and reformat 90 depot reformat, as well as open around 10 new international depots.

Having invested in expanding its manufacturing capabilities, with new kitchen furniture ines, it is also upgrading its solid surface worktop capabilities.

In addition, Howdens is set to launch 23 kitchen ranges ahead of its Autumn peak trading period with more emphasis on entry and mid-point ranges.

It is also set to introduce a premium ‘paint to order’ service with 15 new colours in H2 for its most popular kitchens.

Despite the continued challenging macroeconomic backdrop, Howdens reports its builder customers remain busy and expectations for the business in 2023 remain unchanged.