Squire’s Garden Centres has published its financial results for the year ending 31 July 2019. It was a year of record sales; turnover increased by 15% to £57m, helped by excellent weather conditions throughout the peak season.
Turnover was also boosted by the addition of the newly acquired centre at Frensham, which joined the group on 1 August 2018. And in its first full year, the redeveloped Woking centre beat budget and made a strong contribution to sales growth.
Customer numbers in the garden centres, which dropped by 1% in the last financial year, rose by 10%. In the Café Bars, there was a very satisfactory gain of 6% (2018: +7%). Average transaction value (ATV) in the Garden Centres was up by +4% (2018: +3%) while in the Café Bars ATV rose +12% (2018: +5%).
As a result of the substantial sales growth and improved margins, mitigated to some extent by higher payroll costs and overheads, profit before tax increased by 16% to £3.7m (LY: £3.2m) on an underlying basis.
Net debt (gross borrowings, less cash) dropped by £1.1m to £3.7m at the year-end. Total capital investment in the year was £3.3m.
Following the purchase of Heathlands Garden Centre in Wokingham from Wyevale on 1 August 2019, the first day of the new financial year, Squire’s now has 16 garden centres across the South East.