Victorian Plumbing shares fall amid warning

Sales have soared over the past year at Merseyside-based national online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing buts its shares fell on Thursday amid a warning about margins in 2022. Tony McDonough reports

Victorian Plumbing
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen in a Victorian Plumbing TV ad


Shares in Merseyside-based national online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing plummeted more than 40% on Thursday after it warned of a possible fall in gross profit margins for the coming year.

Reporting its full-year results for the year to September 30, 2021, Victorian Plumbing said that supply chain pressures means gross margins may move closer to those achieved in full-year 2020.

In June this year the business, which employs more than 400 people, floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). It raised gross proceeds of £11.6m giving it a market capitalisation on admission of £850m. It was the largest-ever float by a company on AIM.

In its latest results, the business said full-year revenues were up 29% to £268.8m. Adjusted EBITDA (an alternative measure of profitability) was up 53% to £40.1m. However, pre-tax profits fell 17% to £19.7m due to £9.4m of exceptional costs relating to the IPO and share-based payments of £7.7m.

There was positive sales growth with total orders rising by 17% to 906,000, active customers up 13% to 638,000 and the average value of individual orders made by customers was up 10% to £297.

During the year Victorian Plumbing also introduced enhanced point-of-sale functionality to support customer purchasing decisions. It added realistic CGI imagery and 360 degree product views, more detailed product descriptions, and upgraded interaction with its consumer finance partner.

In its full-year report, it said: “As we reported in our full year trading update on October 7, we experienced more subdued market conditions during the summer months following the easing of restrictions, before customer demand improved somewhat during September.

Mark Radcliffe, founder and chief executive of Victorian Plumbing


“Through the first two months of full-year 2022, while consumers have continued to spend more on leisure and less on big ticket material homeware purchases, demand and revenue have been broadly the same as last year and 41% ahead of full-year 2020.”

Mark Radcliffe, founder and chief executive of the firm, said: “Although the short-term outlook is difficult to predict as the world normalises from the events of the last two years, it is inevitable that consumer buying behaviour will continue to move online.

“As the UK’s largest online bathroom specialist retailer, Victorian Plumbing is uniquely placed to help consumers obtain exactly what they need for their dream bathroom. The board remains confident in the medium to long-term growth prospects.”

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