Topps Tiles sees full-year revenue drop on muted commercial demand recovery

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(Reuters) - British tile retailer Topps Tiles TPT.L said on Wednesday it expected a 12% drop in full-year revenue, following a slower recovery in commercial demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topps said it expected to post a “modest” level of profit for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 26, with retail like-for-like revenue in the period down 12.5% from a year earlier.

The operator of over 300 stores in the UK said its retail business showed robust performance in the final quarter, driven by strong demand for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects from customers.

Britons, with time on their hands during the COVID-19 pandemic, have been tackling more such DIY projects.

Topps’ stores were closed from March 23 when the UK went into a coronavirus lockdown, though its online business remained in operation. The stores started reopening from mid-April and all are now open.

The company called the slowdown in its commercial segment “significant”, but added that it was starting to see increased demand from architects, designers and contractors on new specification projects, among others.

“I remain very positive about the longer term outlook for the Group but also recognise that the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to more difficult trading conditions over the short to medium term,” Chief Executive Officer Rob Parker said.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich