Lords Group Trading plc has presented its unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.
A statement from the Group included the following Financial Highlights:
Group revenues of £179.0 million (H1 2020: £124.0 million);
Group like-for-like revenue growth of 36.9% and 20.2% on a two year like-for-like basis versus H1 2019 (adjusted for new, divested and acquired locations);
Gross profit increased by 40% to £29.3 million (H1 2020: £20.9 million);
Gross profit margin reduced slightly to 16.4% (H1 2020: 16.8%), due to divisional sales mix disruption as a result of Covid-19;
Profit before tax of £4.5 million (H1 2020: £0.3 million loss before tax);
Performance in line with market expectations for the full year.
Amongst its Operational Highlights, Lords outlined its successful admission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange on 20 July 2021, raising gross proceeds of £52.0 million in an oversubscribed Placing (£30.0 million for the Group, £22.0 million for existing shareholders).
It reported a strong performance across the Group and a notable record contribution from Lords Builders Merchants, whilst also noting the continued increase in the Group’s Online Instore strategy with Y-on-Y digital sales growth in H1 2021 of 41.9%. The integration of MAP Building & Engineering Supplies and Condell Limited are “well advanced” following the acquisition in March 2021 and April 2021 respectively whilst a “pipeline of potential acquisition opportunities remains robust and a number of conversations provide interesting inorganic growth potential for the Group”.
The Plumbing and Heating division relocated its Croydon and Bristol facilities to provide capacity for future growth, whilst customer satisfaction was said to remain “robustly strong” in H1 2021 with a satisfaction score of 4.7 out of 5.0 (H1 2020: 4.7 out of 5). Colleague engagement was also said to remain exceptionally high, with the Group’s Q2 2021 survey delivering a score of 4.7 out of 5.0 (no comparative available), and “continued progress” was made across the Group’s sustainability programme.
Current Trading and Outlook
Lords is strategically focused on the Repair, Maintenance, and Improvement (RMI) market which represents 80% of Group revenue. The long-term fundamentals of the RMI market are supported by pent up demand due to historic under investment in the UK housing stock and enhanced consumer savings triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Board reports it is “very encouraged” by the strong first half performance across the Group and, “while there remain product availability issues for a variety of reasons”, it is confident in the full year outlook for Lords against a backdrop of positive macro trends.
Gary O’Brien, Chairman of Lords, said: “Market conditions remained favourable in our core markets throughout the period and I am delighted to report on a very strong first half, which was subsequently followed by our successful AIM IPO in July. We have continued to focus on our stated strategy of bolt-on acquisitions and organic growth, with H1 2021 reflecting significant milestones in both channels. I am also pleased to report that the acquisition pipeline remains strong and we are in discussions with a number of potential businesses that would enhance the Group’s proposition.
“The strength of these results supports our first interim dividend payment to shareholders of 0.63 pence per share. This period has been hugely successful for the Group, underpinned by the significant milestone of a public listing. I am extremely grateful to every colleague in the Group for their continued dedication and customer first ethos.”
Shanker Patel, Chief Executive Officer, added: “I want to thank all of our exceptional colleagues for their superb contribution and customer focus in delivering an excellent set of maiden interim results. During this period Lords has delivered record operating profits and margins, and continues to deliver strong cash generation.
“2021 represents another key year in our strategic development and I’m delighted with the progress delivered in the half year with the acquisitions of MAP Building & Engineering Supplies and Condell. Most importantly, the continued high engagement from our colleagues and customers is nothing short of exceptional and uniquely positions Lords in our market.
“The overall outlook for Lords remains positive given the strength of our diversified portfolio model, macro trends, investment pipeline and strong balance sheet.”