October 2, 2019 / 7:15 AM / 19 days ago

Weak consumer demand dents Topps Tiles' quarterly sales

(Reuters) - Britain’s biggest tile retailer Topps Tiles (TPT.L) on Wednesday reported lower fourth-quarter like-for-like sales, hit by a shaky economy and political turmoil that has squashed consumer demand.

The company, which expects full-year adjusted revenue to be around 214 million pounds ($262.32 million), said like-for-like sales fell 1.9% in its final quarter.

“Political uncertainty continued to weigh on consumer confidence in the final quarter and we expect this to remain a feature until there is greater clarity,” Topps Tiles Chief Executive Officer Matthew Williams said.

The uncertain economic outlook has weighed on the property market, leading Britons to put off major renovations or buying new houses.

The company, which sells bathroom, wall and floor tiles, expects full-year adjusted pretax profit to be within market the view of between 15.5 million pounds to 16 million pounds.

Topps Tiles’ comments come a day after sofa and carpet retailer ScS Group (SCSS.L) said it had started its new fiscal year on rocky ground as ongoing political and economic uncertainty in Britain and soaring temperatures over the August bank holiday weekend hit orders.

“For Topps, and indeed all upholstery retailers, the consumer is showing no signs of a willingness to engage in bigger ticket purchases currently,” said analysts at Peel Hunt, who cut their 2020 pretax profit forecast by around 2 million pounds.

($1 = 0.8158 pounds)

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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