Expansion sees 2018 losses jump at Tapi but margin sees boost this year
Tapi’s expansion last year saw pre-tax losses jump by more than 40% as sales approached £80m.
Pre-tax loses jumped from £10.92m to £15.37mas sales rose 38.7% to £79m in the year to 29 December 2018.
‘2018 saw a further year of accelerated store rollout, boosted by significant opportunities arising from a number of CVAs in the UK retail market including our main competitor Carpetright. The company closed the year with 114 stores, including a first concession within Homebase; ably supported by our 52 mobile showrooms. The business has also invested significantly in other alternative channels platforms,’ says the company.
‘Excluding the protracted and record-breaking hot summer the company continued to deliver double-digit growth in like for like takings. Full year gross margin of 55.6% reflected the highly competitive nature of the UK floorcovering market; encouragingly the order margin in the first half of 2019 has grown significantly year on year.
‘The period of rapid rollout has slowed and the company currently trades from 129 stores, including 10 Homebase concessions, backed up by 54 mobile showrooms. The directors anticipated the accounting losses that would arise during the development stage and remain confident of moving into a profitable position over the next two years now that the business is established.
‘The strategy remains one of a hub and spoke model with the main stores supported by concession space and mobile showrooms. Following a very encouraging start the company is planning an accelerated rollout of concession stores during 2020; combined with the further development of the alternative channels offer.’
Since the end of the 2018 financial year it agreed leases on a further nine branches (there are currently 130 stores including 11 Homebase concessions) and secured a further £9.85m from shareholders.