Investment Column: Wickes is back from the brink
Thursday 26 February 1998
Wickes has been helped by a recovering housing market but its performance has still been impressive. Its gross margins have improved from 28.2 per cent to 30.3 per cent over the year while like-for-like sales rose by 10.2 per cent, increasing to 18 per cent in current trading.
The stores have enjoyed a recent boost by the warmer weather which has coaxed out more DIY enthusiasts than at this time last year but Wickes is still performing ahead of the industry average.
The shape of the business is now more simple, with the last of the non- UK businesses sold last year. The pounds 16m loss on the sale of continental European operations pushed the group pounds 6.4m into the red in the year to 31 December. But profits from continuing operations improved from a pounds 37m loss to a pounds 12m profit.
The company is still doing well at the heavy end of the DIY market but feels it is missing out in the decorative sector. To address this it is testing refits in six stores that will stock an additional 500 lines in all coverings and floorings to grab a little market share. This risks fighting on the home ground of rivals such as Homebase and B&Q but if the trial is successful the concept will be rolled out across the estate.
On upgraded profit forecasts of pounds 25m this year, the shares trade on a forward rating of 13 if a full tax is assumed. With a bid still possible the shares look decent value.
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bruce Forsyth backs assisted dying campaign: 'If I had Alzheimer's or dementia I would do something about it'
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...