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Victoria looks to add to deals amid record sales

VictoriaLVTVictoria Group has confirmed it wants to buy part – but not all - of Balta after making another ceramic flooring acquisition and enjoying record first half sales.

It says it is in talks about buying a ‘profitable, growing part of Balta that possesses good synergy opportunities’, but ruled out a deal for the group.

Victoria saw record first half sales in the six months to 2 October, up 29.8% on a non-acquisition basis to £489m, and up 9.2% on the same period in 2020. A pre-tax loss of £4.7m became a profit of £2.9m.

The carpet, underlay, artificial grass and Alliance Logistics division saw sales jump 69.8% to £214m, and by 48% on a like for like basis. Underlying margin grew from 15.2% to 18%. IT revealed that its driver wage bill has increased by £1m a year.

‘High savings rates - particularly of consumers that form Victoria's target market - are underpinning the demand for flooring and consequently, despite selling price increases, consumers are continuing to prioritise redecorating their home. The integration of the acquisitions we have made this year are still at an early stage but are progressing well, and so the synergy gains that are expected as the integration work proceeds will drive further earnings and margin gains, helping to offset some of the inflationary pressures being experienced,’ says Geoff Wilding, Victoria Group executive chairman.

Earlier this month the group agreed to pay £40.8m for Turkish ceramic flooring manufacturer Graniser.