Victoria remains upbeat despite losses

Victoria results, soft-step-cuba Flooring

Worcestershire-based flooring manufacturer Victoria PLC issued an upbeat statement despite announcing a pre-tax loss of £3.7m, against a £13.4m profit last year.

Underlying pre-tax profits were £57.2m, up from £40.8m in 2018. Revenues for the year to March 30 2019 were £574.4m, up from £424.8 in 2018.

The results follow a ‘significant’ reorganisation of UK and European manufacturing footprint and logistics structure which accounted for £12.7 million in exceptional reorganisation costs.

There was a further £20.9 million investment in growth capex to deliver best-in-class facilities, enabling revenue and margin growth in future years.

Victoria PLC, based in Kidderminster, also acquired Ceramica Saloni in Spain during the year, expanding the Group’s presence in the high-margin ceramic flooring sector in Europe and internationally.

Geoff Wilding, Executive Chairman of Victoria PLC, said: “Victoria achieved another record year in 2019 making it the sixth consecutive year of growth in underlying earnings, free cash flow per share, and operating margins, despite continuingly challenging market conditions.

“There remains an enormous market opportunity for Victoria to expand both in the UK and internationally, by organically improving margins and earnings still further within our existing business, as well as by acquisition, where we believe opportunities we have identified will make a meaningful contribution to the Group. We remain focused on increasing both earnings and free cash flow per share.

“At times, reorganising a factory while still focussed on achieving organic growth felt like conducting open heart surgery whilst the patient was running a marathon but we are very pleased with the end result.

“We are just three months into our new financial year but the numbers being reported by the operating businesses to date point to the expected positive outcomes being achieved.”

The Group has operations across the UK, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia and employs approximately 3,000 people at more than 20 sites.

It designs and manufactures a wide range of wool and synthetic broadloom carpets, ceramic tiles, flooring underlay, LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and hardwood flooring products, artificial grass, carpet tiles and flooring accessories.