Victorian Plumbing returns to growth, pays dividends

Skelmersdale, Lancashire-based bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing Group said on Tuesday it reported full year results “ahead of expectations, with H2 revenue growth as the group demonstrates continued trading momentum and further market share gains, supported by a robust balance sheet.”

Victorian Plumbing is proposing a maiden ordinary full year dividend of 1.1p and an additional special dividend of 1.7p.

Announcing results for the year ended September 30, 2022, the Lancashire firm said H2 revenue was up 6% on last year with revenue for the full year broadly flat at £269.4 million — but up 78% when compared to FY19, pre-Covid-19.

Profit before tax fell 40% to £11.8 million.

On current trading and outlook, Victorian Plumbing said it has had a strong start to FY23 with 10% revenue growth to date “whilst maintaining H2 gross profit margin and with lower marketing spend versus the comparative period last year.”

Victorian Plumbing Group CEO Mark Radcliffe said: “Following a tough first half of the financial year, we have returned to growth in the second half, increasing our market share and establishing our position as the UK’s No.1 bathroom retailer.

“Our distinctive brand and extensive choice of quality bathroom products – including quality own-brand ranges and an unrivalled suite of third-party options – remain compelling drivers in attracting consumers to Victorian Plumbing, whilst the strength of our supply chain and our strategic investment in inventory means that the majority of our products have high availability.

 “As a highly cash generative business with a strong balance sheet and growing momentum through 2022 and into 2023, we see the macro operating and economic environment as an opportunity to further strengthen our market position and we enter the new financial year as the UK’s No. 1 bathroom retailer with confidence and real excitement in our plans for further progress.”


Andy Murphy, director at investment research firm Edison Group: “Despite the growing challenges which Victorian Plumbing faces, including suppressed levels of consumer spending and supply chain issues, this set of results shows moderate levels of growth backed up by a robust balance sheet and significant market gains.

“Whilst the group’s revenue only rose to £269m compared to £268.8 last year, its net cash increased 39% to reach £45.5m.

“However, the group’s gross profit margin decreased 7%, with adjusted EBITA falling 51% to £19.5m. Conscious of the macroeconomic pressures, senior management noted that it will monitor consumer behaviour and tailor its pricing and marketing strategy.

“Going forward, the group’s strong market position, with total orders of 880,000 for 2022 and 608,000 active customers, up 5% from 2021, puts it in good stead to deliver in its strategic growth areas of trade and ‘adjacent categories’.

“Investors in 2023 will be keeping a close eye on whether general inflation and energy prices dampen demand in this sector, and if the group can continue to consolidate its position as one of the UK’s leading bathroom retailers.”