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Benchmark


BENTS: GROWING AND GROWING The Numbers


Sales £m Gross profi t £m


Operating profi t £k Pre-tax profi t £k Staff


Salaries £m


The Ratios Stockturn


Gross margin %


15.2 16.3 20.0 21.6 5.8


6.0 7.4 7.7


538 583 552 1,365 1,221 480 585 553 1,369 1,218 283 303 326 372 400 3.9


4.2 7.5 4.6 7.1 3.4


3.4 3.4


5.4 8.2


6.8 6.9


5.8 7.8


2018 THE GARDEN MARKET SUPPLEMENT BLUE DIAMOND: FASTEST GROWING


12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 %change 14.1 5.3


8.2 4.7


-10.5 -11.0 7.5 8.1


12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 %change 7.1


Operating margin % 3.8 Net margin %


5.4


37.9 37.9 37.1 37.0 35.8 3.8 3.8


Staff costs/turnover % 28.0 27.5 28.2 27.0 26.9 Return on capital % DIY Week index


6.2 33.9 234.2 169.2 1269.8 360.1


Like Barton Grange, Bents has grown to a turnover of £20m-plus from a single garden centre – and it is also one of the fastest-growing businesses in the market, with average annual sales growth over the past fi ve years of 9.5%. Only Blue Diamond exceeds this growth rate, and their gains have largely been attributable to acquisitions. Bents is also close to the top of the chart on stockturn, and on the DIY Week Index; on the downside, its staff costs are higher than average, and its gross margin notably lower than average. But with this kind of sales growth, coupled with respectable margins and sharply increasing return on capital, we are reasonablycertain that those are the kind of downsides the company can live with.


CHESSINGTON: ON PAR The Numbers


Sales £m Gross profi t £m


Operating profi t £k Pre-tax profi t £k Staff


Salaries £m


The Ratios Stockturn


Gross margin %


Operating margin % Net margin %


-5.2 -3.3


5.6 -17.3 5.6 -17.8 -0.1


5.6 12.3 10.1 -18.2


The Numbers Sales £m


Gross profi t £m


Operating profi t £k Pre-tax profi t £k Staff


Salaries £m


The Ratios Stockturn


Gross margin %


Operating margin % Net margin %


12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 %change 62.5 30.8


70.3 82.8 91.3 96.5 34.5 41.1 45.6 49.2


3,851 5,084 7,194 8,883 9,597 3,366 4,506 6,605 8,439 9,174


17.6 19.9 22.3 24.2 3.4


8.7 8.0


3.9


9.7 9.2


3.6


9.9 9.5


5.7 7.8 8.0 8.7


1199 1306 1631 1773 1848 4.2 16.0


2.9


7.2 6.4


49.4 49.2 49.7 50.0 51.0 6.2 5.4


Staff costs/turnover % 25.6 25.1 24.0 24.4 25.1 Return on capital % DIY WEEK index


6.4 8.0 13.4 14.7 13.6 97.6 264.4 522.5 388.5 204.4


Blue Diamond is the fastest-growing garden centre operator in the UK, with sales up more than 50% over the past fi ve years. It’s also one of the most acquisitive, snapping up centres across the country, and has grown to be the third largest operator in the UK. July and August this year saw it acquiring a further nine centres from Wyevale; assuming this rate of growth continues, it is only a matter of time before it overtakes Dobbies and becomes the market number two. In terms of competitiveness, we rank it seventh on gross margin, sixth on operating margin, 12th on staff productivity and 14th on return on capital. The only key ratio on which it appears to be under- performing is stockturn – but with fi fth place in the DIY Week Index table, there doesn’t appear to be much wrong with the business.


12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 %change 8.9 4.2


9.6 10.6 10.9 10.6 4.7


5.1 5.3 5.2


218 653 846 802 569 130 555 767 741 539 158 159 174 176 218 2.5


2.5 4.9


6.8 5.8


2.6 6.0


8.0 7.3


2.8 4.5


7.4 6.8


2.9 4.0


5.4 5.1


-2.6 -1.8


-29.1 -27.3 23.9 1.5


2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 %change 4.6


47.3 48.5 48.0 49.0 49.4 2.4 1.5


Staff costs/turnover % 27.7 26.2 25.0 26.1 27.2 Return on capital % DIY Week index


1.4 5.8 7.7 7.9 8.8 21.4 243.1 483.5 100.1 -57.1


Chessington Garden Centre saw a slight drop in sales in 2016, apparently the result of poor weather and increased competition. The same year also saw a notable rise in staff numbers and salary costs, leading to a signifi cant drop in profi ts. Overall, though, Chessington remains a very sound performer fi nancially. Even allowing for the fall in sales in the latest fi nancial period, its average sales growth over the past fi ve years is higher than the industry average, and so too is its gross margin. Stockturn and staff productivity are both in line with the industry average, and its average DIY Week Index score over the fi ve years is ahead of the market. The company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017 – it will be interesting to see whether that year saw a return to sales growth as well.


16 DIY WEEK GARDEN MARKET SUPPLEMENT


-11.6 0.8


-27.1 -25.3 4.3


10.4


COOLINGS: HUGE GROSS MARGIN The Numbers


Sales £m Gross profi t £m


Operating profi t £k Pre-tax profi t £k Staff


Salaries £m


The Ratios Stockturn


Gross margin %


Operating margin % Net margin %


6.2 3.4


5.4 3.2


5.7 3.4


6.0 3.6


209 370 438 -151 495 229 391 472 -112 539 172 165 133 136 146 2.1


2.1 5.6


6.0 6.3


1.9 4.3 2.0 3.6 2.2 3.9


8.3 9.0


-6.5 2.0 2.2 2.9 2.8


-7.6 8.6


2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 %change 2.6


12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 %change 5.7 3.3


5.2 5.1 n/a n/a 7.4 9.5


12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 %change 3.8


7.5


56.9 55.8 59.4 60.3 60.2 3.6 4.0


8.1 -2.6 8.7 -2.0


Staff costs/turnover % 36.9 34.6 34.7 34.5 35.9 Return on capital % DIY Week index


5.7 9.1 10.3 -2.6 11.8 -227.4 254.4 -432.4 -54.1 167.5


Coolings bounced back to a healthy profi t in 2016/17, after a year of operating loss attributed to a revaluation of fi xed assets. Its core strength is plain to see: although it is the smallest company covered by this survey, its gross margin is consistently one of the highest in the market. That gives the lie to the conventional wisdom that big companies can always buy better than small ones and we are pretty sure that the Coolings team could give the rest of the industry someuseful tips on vendor negotiation. Taken over a fi ve-year period, its stockturn is a little below market average, and its staff costs are the highest of any company in the survey – but when you’re making 60% gross, you’re probably not too worried about things like that.


www.diyweek.net


-0.1 n/a n/a 4.1 n/a


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