DATED: 25TH JANUARY 2017
TRADING STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED
31 DECEMBER 2016
I am writing to provide a trading statement for the year ended 31 December 2016 in advance of the final results that we expect to announce at the beginning of May 2017, and an update on the open offer to new investors and the share transfer policy.
- I am delighted to let you know that Blue Diamond produced another successful trading performance in 2016.
- Total sales increased by 10% and like for like sales grew by 7%.
- UK total sales have risen by 10% and by more than 7% on a like for like basis.
- CI sales growth of 5% was much stronger than in recent years.
- Garden centre sales have outperformed the industry in all key categories.
- There were exceptional performances from the Fashion and Garden Leisure categories, whilst Gardening and Plants delivered excellent growth.
- Harlow Garden Centre, acquired in May 2016, and Coton Orchard, which joined the Group in December 2016, made a useful contribution, but both are scheduled for significant development in 2017 to realise their full potential.
- Trentham Garden Centre has seen strong growth since its redevelopment early in 2016 and Derby Garden Centre was refurbished in November 2016.
- Chairman Simon Burke said, "I am very happy that the Group has traded so well again in 2016 after the excellent outcome in 2015. We expect to report another significant increase in profit for the 2016 year. In common with many businesses we see challenges ahead, but Blue Diamond is well placed to meet them."
OPEN OFFER TO NEW INVESTORS
- The Board is currently seeking new investors to purchase the 253,332 authorised but unissued shares offered to existing investors in October 2016 but not taken up.
- We expect to have an update on this by the end of February 2017. Please remember these shares are still available for existing shareholders to buy at £9.50.
SHARE TRANSFER POLICY
- Following feedback from shareholders at the 2016 AGM, the Board has approved a formal policy in relation to the transfer of shares, which it will keep under regular review following feedback from shareholders and the Company Secretary. Details of the share transfer policy can be obtained from the Company Secretary or at https://www.bluediamond.gg/shareholder-information.
Group Finance Director and Company Secretary