07 September 2023
Continued momentum with strategic targets well on track
and growth opportunities strong despite challenging market conditions
Lords (AIM:LORD), a leading distributor of building materials in the UK, today announces its unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2023 (‘H1 2023’ or the ‘Period’).
To view a full version of the results in
H1 2023 Financial Highlights
- Record H1 Group revenues of £222.6 million (H1 2022: £214.2 million), a 3.9% increase overall or decrease of 4.4% on a like-for-like (‘LFL’)1 basis.
- Adjusted EBITDA2 of £15.1 million (H1 2022: £14.2 million restated), a 6.1% increase.
- Adjusted EBITDA margin of 6.8% (H1 2022: 6.6%), on track to reach 7.5% medium term target.
- Operating Profit of £8.1m (H1 2022: £7.3 million restated), a 11.6% increase.
- Interim dividend of 0.67 pence per share (H1 2022: 0.67 pence per share).
- The Board remains confident of delivering our strategic targets of £500 million revenue by 2024 and improving EBITDA margins to 7.5% in the medium term.
Percentages are based on underlying, not rounded, figures.
1 Like-for-like sales is a measure of growth in sales, adjusted for new, divested and acquired locations such that the periods over which the sales are being compared are consistent.
2 Adjusted EBITDA is EBITDA (defined as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and, in accordance with IFRS) but also excluding exceptional items and share-based payments.
- Robust Merchanting division performance:
- Record revenues of £109.4 million (H1 2022: £105.9 million), representing growth of 3.3% and decrease of 5.1% on a LFL basis.
- Trading decisions focused on delivering enhanced Adjusted EBITDA margins of 7.7% (H1 2022: 7.3%).
- Plumbing and Heating division (‘P&H’) delivers solid first half despite prevailing trading environment:
- Record revenues of £113.2 million (H1 2022: £108.3 million), representing growth of 4.5% and decrease of 3.8% on a LFL basis.
- Previous industry wide boiler supply issues now resolved, with phasing of Group inventory levels expected to normalise prior to year end.
- Mr Central Heating branch expansion plans continue with the eleventh branch opened in Edinburgh ahead of a planned acceleration of 40 new store openings over the next five years.
- Acquisition pipeline remains active, offering potential for further market share gains, enhanced profitability and further diversified revenue streams:
- Chiltern Timber Supplies Limited was acquired on 3 April 2023 on an initial 3.2x EBITDA multiple, offering the Merchanting division extension of range and geography. The business is performing in line with the Board’s expectations following successful integration.
- Alloway Timber was acquired on 1 September 2023, adding five branches to the Lords Merchanting division in complementary locations in the South East of England. The business was acquired for a total cash outlay of £3.3 million of which £2.6 million was payable upon completion.
- Management remains focused on further opportunities that are complementary to Lords’ strategy of product range and geographic expansion.
Current Trading and Outlook
- The Group has delivered a resilient performance in H1 2023 and the Board believes that the Group is currently outperforming the market3 but is not immune to persistent macro-economic pressures.
- Since our last market update, persistent high levels of inflation, increasing interest rates and weaker consumer confidence have continued to reduce demand in the Group’s key end markets of private repairs, maintenance and improvements (RMI) and new build housing, and consequently demand for the Group’s products.
- Given the continuing challenging backdrop, the Board now anticipates that demand will remain at current levels throughout the remainder of H2 2023. Accordingly, the Board expects the Group to deliver full year revenues of approximately £450 million and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately £27 million.
- The Board remains confident of delivering its strategic targets of £500 million revenue by 2024 and EBITDA margins of 7.5% in the medium term, with the Group’s colleague and customer focused proposition enabling Lords to take market share, as well as being an acquirer of choice in the market.
3The Construction Product Association’s (CPA) January forecasts were for a reduction of 11% and 9% in new build housing and private housing RMI, respectively, in 2023. The CPA’s latest forecasts, published in July, are for a reduction of 19% and 11% in new build housing and private housing RMI, respectively, in 2023.
Commenting on the Interim Results, Shanker Patel, Chief Executive Officer of Lords, commented:
“Lords performed well in the period recording another record half year, despite tougher market conditions. These results are testament to our outstanding colleagues and continued execution of our strategy, which when combined, offer our customers a continually improving proposition.
“We have a substantial opportunity to grow the Group’s current < 1% market share through attracting new customers, a greater share of existing customer wallet, product range extension, new geographies, digital capability and value added acquisitions. Our focus on the essential and resilient ‘Repair’ sector of RMI positions us more defensively during periods of volatility.
“The Board is still mindful of accumulating short-term macroeconomic conditions to which the Group is not immune and expects trading conditions to be more challenging in the second half of the year against strong comparators. However, we anticipate Lord’s agility, entrepreneurialism and strong positioning will enable the Group to deliver its strategic target of £500 million revenue by 2024 and EBITDA margins of 7.5% in the medium term.”
FOR FURTHER ENQUIRIES:
|Lords Group Trading plc||Via Buchanan|
|Shanker Patel, Chief Executive Officer||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000|
|Chris Day, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer|
|Cenkos Securities plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)||Tel: +44 (0)20 7397 8900|
|Ben Jeynes / Max Gould / Dan Hodkinson (Corporate Finance)|
|Julian Morse / Henry Nicol (Sales)|
|Berenberg (Joint Broker)|
Matthew Armitt / Richard Bootle / Detlir Elezi
|Tel: +44 (0)20 3207 7800|
|Buchanan Communications||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000|
|Henry Harrison-Topham / Stephanie Whitmore / Abby Gilchrist||[email protected]|
Notes to editors:
Lords is a specialist distributor of building, plumbing, heating and DIY goods. The Group principally sells to local tradesmen, small to medium sized plumbing and heating merchants, construction companies and retails directly to the general public.
The Group operates through the following two divisions:
Merchanting: supplies building materials and DIY goods through its network of merchant businesses and online platform capabilities. It operates both in the ‘light side’ (building materials and timber) and ‘heavy side’ (civils and landscaping), through 31 locations in the UK
Plumbing and Heating: a specialist distributor in the UK of plumbing and heating products to a UK network of independent merchants, installers and the general public. The division offers its customers an attractive proposition through a multi-channel offering. The division operates over 17 locations enabling nationwide next day delivery service.
Lords was established over 35 years ago as a family business with its first retail unit in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Since then, the Group has grown to a business operating from 48 sites. Lords aims to become a £500 million turnover building materials distributor group by 2024 as it grows its national presence.
Lords was admitted to trading on AIM in July 2021 with the ticker LORD.L. For additional information please visit www.lordsgrouptradingplc.co.uk.
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information pursuant to Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 as amended. Upon the publication of this announcement via a Regulatory Information Service, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.