23 May 2024, 06:39
By Furniture News Oct 05, 2023

Leekes announces strong profits and further investment

Family-owned business Leekes Retail & Leisure Group, which last year celebrated 125 years of trading, has announced another year of strong profitability despite the challenging economic conditions and inflationary environment.

The group reported EBITDA of £8m and a profit before tax and exceptional items of £5m for the year ending 31st March 2023.

In the year, Leekes Retail delivered sales revenue of £65m, with a combination of strong turnover performance and significant operational efficiencies resulting in an EBITDA improvement of £2.9m to £4.9m, and a profit before tax and exceptional items increase of £3.2m compared with the pre-pandemic 2019/20 financial year.

The retail division invested £5.1m in new capital expenditure in the FY, including the substantial refurbishment of its flagship store in Llantrisant, South Wales, investment in its website and solar panel installations across its estate.

Emma Leeke, MD of Leekes Retail, says: “We are delighted that our positive trading performance has enabled us to continue to invest significant capital into our retail business. The completion of the first phase of our Llantrisant store refurbishment has delivered strong sales growth whilst the rollout of solar panel installations has helped us mitigate the effects of the increase in electricity prices.

"The continued focus on operating efficiencies by our highly skilled retail team over the last couple of years has resulted in continued improvement in profitability.”

Leekes' Vale Resort has reported another strong trading year too, achieving an EBITDA of £3.2m and a pre-tax profit of £2m despite cost pressures.

The group’s newest enterprise is its Hensol Castle Distillery, which produces its own brand spirits as well as contract bottling for other customers. The £3m investment in this new venture has also included the addition of a visitor experience which operates gin tours and gin-making experiences in the castle’s cellars.

Reflecting on the results, Mike Fowler, group FC, comments: “The continuation of our excellent trading performance across the group, our £85m net asset balance sheet, which is heavily weighted towards freehold property interests, with low levels of gearing and the valued support of our banking partners Barclays and HSBC, has given us the confidence to continue to invest in our diverse range of activities with a further £7.5m of capital expenditure across the group in the last FY.

"Whilst there has been significant cost pressure, we have mitigated this with favourable hedging agreements on both interest rates and utility costs as well as a £1.4m investment in solar panel installations to ensure that the strong profitability has continued.”

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