The company's trading statement said profits of £7.6m in the first six months of 2019 were a record, driven by strong trading in the core business and the addition of nine centres acquired from Wyevale last year.
The trading statement in full:
"Blue Diamond, the UK's second largest operator of garden centres, has reported record profits for the first six months of 2019.
The Group produced a profit before tax of £7.6m, which was a 56% increase on 2018, and was the result of strong trading in both the core business and the nine garden centres purchased from Wyevale in the second half of 2018.
Total sales increased by 57% whilst like for like sales also grew by 12%, driven by outperforming the industry across most major categories and the generally benign weather.
The nine former Wyevale stores delivered average sales growth of 37% against their performance under previous ownership in 2018, with some centres achieving nearly 60% sales growth, and they contributed significantly to EBITDA. They have all received investment and have seen good improvements in their profits and standards.
In September, Blue Diamond completed the acquisition of seven further garden centres from Wyevale, including Bridgemere Garden Centre in Cheshire, one of the most famous and largest garden centres in the UK. These centres generated an EBITDA of £2.6m in 2018 and were purchased for just over £7.5m, plus stock, fees and taxes.
Alan Roper (pictured above), MD of Blue Diamond, commented, “We see a significant opportunity to continue to grow profits in the short, medium and long term from a combination of driving trade in the core business, optimising the performance of the newly-acquired 16 former Wyevale centres and the further greenfield sites we have identified.”
Trading has remained positive since the end of June and the Board is optimistic about the full year outcome.
The Group is privately owned but there is an active market in the trading of its shares. There are currently shares available to purchase from existing shareholders and any person wishing to make enquiries about becoming a shareholder in Blue Diamond should contact the Finance Director, Richard Hemans, by e-mail or telephone 01481 210285 in the first instance.*
*It is the Board's policy that there be an active market in the Company's shares. The Company facilitates transactions between shareholders and third party investors but does not act as an agent of either the seller or the buyer. Any person wanting to become a shareholder must be approved by the Board."