THE CEO of Britain's number one tile specialist Topps Tiles says the business is considering expanding into the commercial sector through acquisition.

Matthew Williams said the floor and wallcoverings company continued "to evaluate selective acquisition opportunities in the commercial segment of the UK tile market," as Topps released third quarter numbers.

It was the clearest indication yet that Topps is mulling over buying unnamed UK tile distribution businesses, likely to mean large outfits that import ceramics and stone from Italy, Spain and Turkey and that sell direct into commercial projects after being specified by architects and contractors.

Topps added a net nine stores in the 13 week period to July 1, 2017 to end the period with 367 stores. Like-for-likes were down 4.7 percent with the company blaming tough comps from last year, when it was benefiting from higher housing level transactions resulting from the Stamp Duty changes in April 2016.

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