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Walker Greenbank (WGB)

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Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Walker Greenbank

Half Year Trading Update

RNS Number : 7131V
Walker Greenbank PLC
11 August 2020
 

For immediate release

11 August 2020

 

 

WALKER GREENBANK PLC

("Walker Greenbank" or the "Company")

 

Half Year Trading Update

 

Walker Greenbank PLC  (AIM: WGB), the luxury interior furnishings group, announces its half year trading update for the six months ended 31 July 2020. As previously reported, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the first half of the financial year but the improving trend seen from April 2020 gained momentum towards the half year end.

 

Total Brand sales, before licensing, discounts and rebates, in the half year were down 28% in reportable currency at £31.3 million (down 28% in constant currency) compared with the first half last year.

 

Brand product sales, before discounts and rebates, in the UK, the Company's largest market, were down 31% whilst international brand sales, before discounts and rebates, were down 24% in reportable currency (down 25% in constant currency). In the US, the Company's second largest market, Brand product sales, before discounts and rebates, were down approximately 32% in reportable currency (down 33% per cent in constant currency) and in Northern Europe were down approximately 13% in reportable currency (down 13% in constant currency).

 

The half year ended strongly for the Clarke & Clarke brand both in the UK and the US, where its distributor Kravet Inc, which started to distribute the brand on 1 August 2019, had its biggest selling month so far, in July 2020. The Morris & Co brand has continued to sell strongly in Northern Europe, driven by Scandinavia. The final fulfilment of a significant hotel contract order was delivered at the half year end, adding to UK Brand product sales, particularly of the Anthology brand.

 

Core licensing income in the first half was impacted to a lesser extent by Covid-19 than Brand product sales and was down approximately 10%.

 

Manufacturing operations, which were temporarily closed during lockdown, have resumed. The current third-party order book is good and demand continues to grow, particularly from the US. As a result of Covid-19, total third-party sales were down 32% in the first half.

 

The  Company's liquidity remains robust and at the half year end the Company's cash headroom against its banking facilities had further increased to £19.5 million, compared with headroom of £16.0 million on 26 June 2020 as reported in the Company's accounts for the year ended 31 January 2020.  

 

Lisa Montague, Walker Greenbank's Chief Executive Officer, said: "Whilst the first half, as previously reported, has been materially impacted by Covid-19, there was recovery in the business at the half year end with the improving trend continuing month on month. We remain cautious as we look forwards to the second half of the year; t he Covid-19 pandemic continues to create uncertain conditions impacting the markets in which the Company operates. 

 

"I am excited by some of the initiatives that we've implemented in the first half, including the launch on 23 July 2020 of a Harlequin children's collection using, for the first time, a digital design book in place of a physical pattern book, with great initial feedback from our trade partners. This digital acceleration will help our customers with more rapid response, optimised inventory replenishment and the greater agility that immediate sampling data affords us whilst also progressing the Company's strategic development."

 

The Company's results for the six months ended 31 July 2020 are expected to be announced in October 2020.

 

 

For further information:

 

Walker Greenbank PLC

+44 (0) 1895 221068

Lisa Montague, Chief Executive Officer

Michael Williamson, Chief Financial Officer




Investec Bank plc (Nominated Adviser and Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7597 5970

David Anderson / Henry Reast / Alex Wright




Buchanan

+44 (0) 20 7466 5000

Mark Court / Toto Berger / Charlotte Slater


 

Notes for editors:

 

About Walker Greenbank

 

Walker Greenbank PLC is a luxury interior furnishings company that designs, manufactures and markets wallpapers, fabrics and paints. In addition, the Company derives significant licensing income from the use of its designs on a wide range of interior products such as bed linen, rugs and tableware.

 

Walker Greenbank's brands include Zoffany, Sanderson, Morris & Co, Harlequin, Scion and Clarke & Clarke.

 

The Company has a strong UK manufacturing base, comprising a wallpaper factory in Loughborough and a fabric printing factory in Lancaster. Both factories manufacture for the Company and for other wallpaper and fabric brands.

 

Walker Greenbank employs more than 650 people and its products are sold in more than 85 countries worldwide. It has showrooms in London, New York, Chicago, Paris and Dubai. Walker Greenbank trades on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WGB.

 

Walker Greenbank trades on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WGB. For further information please visit: www.walkergreenbank.com

 

 


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