Good morning, it's Paul here with Thursday's SCVR.

Estimated timings - there's lots to cover in detail today, so I'm carrying on until about 4:30 pm.
Edit at 15:58 - today's report is now finished.

Please see the header above, for the announcements today which have caught my eye, in the small caps space.


Topps Tiles (LON:TPT)

Share price: 50p (up 16% today, at 09:21)
No. shares: 195.0m
Market cap: £97.5m

Trading Update

Topps Tiles Plc (the "Group"), the UK's leading tile specialist, announces a trading update for the six week period ended 8 August 2020.

Checking my previous notes, I reported here on 1 July 2020, on a positive Q3 (Apr-Jun) update, plus a good performance in the first week of re-opening stores (LFL sales down only 5.4%).

Today's update has a summary at the start (becoming increasingly popular, probably dreamed up by the PRs!), saying;

Robust like-for-like growth; modest pre-tax profits now expected for FY20; well-positioned to strengthen market position...

Remember that these summaries will be cherry-picking the best bits usually, so need to be initially treated with scepticism. EDIT: having looked through the whole update, I'm happy to withdraw this general point - in this case, the summary is accurate. End of edit.

LFL sales in Q4 (July-Sept 2020) to date - this looks excellent;

Retail trading over the first six weeks of our final quarter has been robust, with like for like retail revenues growing by 15.5% year-on-year.

It's not clear whether the above includes online sales, or not. So I queried this with the company's advisers, who have just called me back to confirm that the above LFL figure does include both stores and online sales.

Online sales have moderated once the stores re-opened;

While online sales have moderated from the peaks seen in April and May they remain above previous levels, leveraging the Group's recent online investments.

A reduction in online sales is to be expected, once stores re-open, so that's not a problem.

Average weekly sales - excellent transparency here, I wish all companies would present current trading information in such a clear format. The trend looks very good here, from a severe downturn when lockdown began, to now trading ahead of prior year with stores re-opened. There must be pent-up demand now being satisfied, which is good to see;


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