Blue Diamond's full year profit climbs by 26%
Following record profit of £6.6 million in 2015, Blue Diamond increased its profit by 26% to £8.3 million in 2016 when the disposal proceeds of its holding in the David Dumosch agricultural merchant were excluded.
Turnover from its network of 19 garden centres and restaurants in the UK and Channel Islands climbed by 10% to £91 million and by 8% on a like-for-like basis, excluding the acquisitions of Harlow Garden Centre in Essex and Coton Orchard Garden Centre in Cambridge.
The acquisitions of Harlow and Coton Orchard meant the group’s portfolio increased from 17 to 19 sites during the year.
Blue Diamond is aiming to double turnover to £180 million by 2022 through a combination of optimising sales at existing sites through core commercial and retail disciplines, refurbishments and expansion, and the acquisition of existing garden centres or the construction of new garden centres on greenfield sites in the UK.
Blue Diamond managing director Alan Roper said: “I believe that Blue Diamond’s consistent growth has come because we are successful in exploiting the opportunities of an increasingly broader non-gardening offer that the modern garden centre now conveys, whilst continuing to remain credible and authoritative in our core gardening offer. This is in contrast to the concession-led and relatively undifferentiated offer that is prevalent in most of the sector. Recent upheavals elsewhere in the industry are testament to the challenges of keeping pace with a changing market.”
The company has revealed that trading in 2017 has started off “promisingly” but warned that it is still too early to make predictions until the key gardening months of May and June are over.
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