Buoyed up by excellent trading in 2016, Blue Diamond says it is seeking new investors for more than a quarter of a million shares not taken up by existing shareholders in last October’s offer.
In a highly positive trading statement to shareholders for the 12 months ending 31 December, the Guernsey-based garden centre group’s finance director Richard Hemans (pictured) said the £253,332 shares would continue to be available to existing investors at £9.50. An update on the offer would be issued by the end of February.
The group saw 2016 total sales increase by 10% with like-for-like sales up by 7% in a year when its garden centre sales outperformed the industry in all key categories, Hemans said.
There were exceptional performances from the fashion and garden leisure categories, whilst gardening and plants delivered excellent growth.
Harlow Garden Centre, acquired in May 2016, and Coton Orchard, near Cambridge, which joined the group in December last year, made a useful contribution. Both are scheduled for “significant development” in 2017. Trentham Garden Centre has seen strong growth since its redevelopment early in 2016 and Derby Garden Centre was refurbished in November 2016.
Chairman Simon Burke said he was happy the Group has traded so well again in 2016 after the excellent outcome in 2015. “We expect to report another significant increase in profit for the 2016 year. In common with many businesses we see challenges ahead, but Blue Diamond is well placed to meet them."
Full end-of-year results are expected in May.