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Lords flags 'uncertain' market conditions

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Wednesday 15 May 2024

Lords flags 'uncertain' market conditions

(Sharecast News) - Building materials distributor Lords Group Trading warned of challenging market conditions on Wednesday, after unseasonably wet weather compounded tough trading.
The Aim-listed firm said the current year had begun with wider market conditions remaining "uncertain", noting: "As such, we will continue to manage the business carefully and prudently, particularly when looking at M&A opportunities."

It said the first quarter had been impacted by both macro conditions and the wet weather.

Its plumbing and heating division also saw "turbulent" demand following adjustments to the government's clean heat market mechanism.

However, Lords reiterated that it was trading in line with market expectations, adding that it remained confident of achieving its medium-term term EBITDA margin target.

The update came as Lords posted 2.8% uptick in revenues in the year to 31 December, to £462.6m, while adjusted EBITDA fell 10.5% to £26.8m.

In plumbing and heating, like-for-like sales rose 3.7%, supported by extended production ranges at higher prices.

In contrast, underlying sales slid 6.3% in merchanting, as prices fell in various categories.

Shanker Patel, chief executive, said: "Despite the challenging macroeconomic backdrop, the group has once again grown its top line and gained market share, while continuing to invest to deliver future growth.

"While short-term trading pressures may exist, I remain confident in our strategy and its ability to deliver sustained growth over the medium term.

"Our market remains substantial, highly fragmented and we have a track record of consolidation and organic growth, which combined deliver excellent returns for all our stakeholders."

As at 1015 BST, shares in Lords were trading 2% lower at 47.69p.


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