TRADING STATEMENT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED
30 JUNE 2016
I am pleased to provide a trading update for the first six months of 2016.
- After a slow start to the year, trade ignited in May and the strong performance continued into June. Total sales for the first six months of 2016 are 7% higher than 2015, and excluding the acquisition of Harlow Garden Centre like for like sales are 6% higher.
- There was growth of 4% in the Channel Islands and 7% in the UK.
- Blue Diamond significantly outperformed the industry in all key garden centre categories, with particularly strong performances from our Fashion and Garden Leisure departments where our new ranges have been very well received.
- The acquisition of Harlow Garden Centre completed in May and the integration is going well as we make plans for the redevelopment of the site. Trentham Garden Centre has seen a significant sales uplift since its refurbishment and the Derby Garden Centre refurbishment started in July.
- We have agreed terms on the acquisition of a small leasehold garden centre that has the potential to exceed £4m turnover and following the due diligence process expect the transaction to complete in September 2016.
- Chairman Simon Burke remarked, "We have traded robustly during the all-important gardening season. We have not yet felt any impact from the UK's decision to exit the EU but we remain vigilant for any impact on consumer behaviour. Meantime there is a substantial roster of potential acquisition opportunities, and of attractive schemes to upgrade and extend existing sites, which we are evaluating. Overall we remain confident about the prospects for Blue Diamond."
- We expect to announce our interim results at the end of September/beginning of October.
Group Finance Director and Company Secretary