Blue Diamond targets turnover of nearly £200m. within five years
BLUE Diamond is targeting further UK expansion – including the construction of new garden centres – and aiming for turnover approaching £200m. within the next five years.
The Guernsey-headquartered garden centre group said that it was confident of growth following the purchase of nine former Wyevale garden centres in the UK last year along with several new build sites in the pipeline.
The purchase of the former Wyevale sites was completed in mid-August, with a refurbishment programme to bring them up to the Blue Diamond standard beginning in January of this year and continuing through to 2020.
‘The aim is to double the turnover of these businesses over the coming years, which is based on benchmarking their current performance relative to retail space against our performance’ said Blue Diamond managing director Alan Roper, writing in the group’s annual report and consolidated financial statements for 2018.
‘Early signs are encouraging, with sales for the first quarter of 2019 for the ex-Wyevales up 62% compared to the wider group performance of 28%.’
A Dorset garden centre was also acquired by Blue Diamond last year while a new build site near Nottingham achieved nearly £10m. turnover in its first trading year – which was only nine months as it opened at the end of March.
Mr Roper said that like-for-like sales – excluding those from new businesses – were 8% up compared to an industry average that was down 0.3% as defined by the Garden Centre Association.
‘To achieve this level of out-performance in every category and to integrate 11 new businesses in one year is exceptional and is a testament to a team and culture which has been 20 years in the making since I joined the company in 1999,’ he added.
‘Looking forward we have three new-build centres in the pipeline with hopefully a fourth to be agreed soon, and a number of our centres are earmarked for expansion when we have completed the current investment programme on the recent acquisitions.
‘This new business coupled with the growth from the recent acquisitions should see the group turnover approach £200m. within the next five years.’