- Flooring retailer Topps Tiles swung to a first-half loss after its revenue slipped due to the Covid-19 crisis and a tough trading environment before the pandemic hit.

The company scrapped its interim dividend and said it was unlikely to pay a final dividend, too, as the pandemic continues to weigh on sales.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through March amounted to £4.0m, compared to a profit of £5.2m on-year.

Sales fell 3.7% to £106.2m and were down 6.1% on a like-for-like basis, including week 26, when all the company's stores were closed.

With that particular week excluded from the numbers, like-for-like sales still fell 4.3%, which the company pinned on a 'challenging trading environment'.

Trials of new safe operating procedures commenced 22 April, with 250 stores currently offering a click and collect services.

A gradual re-opening of stores was generating an improving trend, the company said, adding that it expected to have 250 stores fully opened by end of May, with a remaining 100 stores opened by the end of June

Topps Tiles said it had a robust liquidity position 'with option for further funding through asset sales in event of extended disruption'.

Cash headroom as at 28 March stood at £21.7m, and was currently at £14.0m, following cash consumption since the half year primarily driven by unwinding of working capital cycle and the earlier timing of the half year end date.

Story provided by