More than 100 jobs will be created across Likewise Group plc’s UK business, as the fast growing, AIM-listed company continues to roll out its developing logistics infrastructure.
The floor coverings distributor, based in Birmingham, includes the Likewise branded businesses, plus Lewis Abbott, Factory Flooring, H&V Carpets, A&A, Valley Wholesale Carpets Ltd, and the recently acquired Delta Carpets.
Launched in January 2019 by former Headlam directors Tony Brewer and Andrew Simpson, the company is on track for £100 million turnover and has its sights set on £200 million in the medium term.
Chief executive Tony Brewer said they expected the transport fleet to expand from 108 to over 150 vehicles to deliver the expected sales growth, creating driving jobs as well as warehousing and sales staff.
The demand for drivers and warehouse staff will be driven by the company’s property expansion programme.
“Our new Birmingham depot at Radial Park on Birmingham Business Park is now operational and this doubles the carpet capacity for the Likewise branded businesses.
“Construction is underway for a new distribution centre in Glasgow and the business in Newcastle has now moved into an enlarged facility adjacent to its previous location,” he said.
Likewise is continuing its search to relocate A&A into significantly larger premises in the North West, and in the South, the group is also establishing a new logistics centre in Newbury to service the south of the UK.
The group has obtained planning permission to extend the freehold distribution centre in Sudbury and is currently working on constructing the extension in the most cost-effective method while keeping with the original design concept. This development will allow Likewise Rugs & Matting to increase product offering and service to its diverse customer base.
Construction is also due to commence to extend the freehold distribution centre in Derby by 20%, and a new carpet cutting machine is on order to increase the cutting capacity in Valley.
When this machine is operational, it will allow Valley and Likewise to operate from the currently unused distribution centre in Newport, South Wales. This will take both businesses into new geographical territories of South Wales and South West England.
Tony Brewer said: “As this huge rollout of our logistics infrastructure continues over the next two years, we will be constantly recruiting to keep pace with our expansion.”
He added that trading in the first three months of 2022 is ahead of internal budgets.
Valley Wholesale Carpets Ltd, which operates autonomously and was acquired by Likewise in January 2022, is also trading ahead of initial expectations.
Mr Brewer joined with board members of the fast growing company in congratulating the management, sales representatives and all staff in Likewise, and group businesses A&A, Factory Flooring, H&V and Valley, for their excellent contribution to the performance of the business.
He added that while the first three months can only ever provide limited indication of the year as a whole, early trends are positive, and the board remains confident in meeting market expectations for 2022.
“The horrific events in Ukraine are tragic for the people and devastation caused. The inevitable consequences are impacting the cost of our products.
“These include manufacturers’ energy costs in production, increases to the costs of various raw materials and transportation. The group’s trade brands will issue a new price list on 1 May to reflect cost price increases. It is very difficult to predict the wider economic repercussions of the current macro environment and resulting effect on consumers’ disposable income,” he said.
Likewise Group plc will release its final results for the year ended 31 December 2021 on 24 May 2022.
As previously announced, total revenue in 2021 increased by 29% to circa £61 million (2020: circa £47 million) and management expects that the adjusted profit before tax for the 2021 financial year will be circa £1.6 million.
The group also intends to commence a progressive dividend policy and declare its maiden dividend alongside the announcement of its 2021 Final Results to be approved by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.