Online-only building materials retailer CMO plans to list shares on AIM in early July to tap the boom in home improvement projects that has boosted the likes of Kingfisher (KGF), Wickes (WIX) and Travis Perkins (TPK).

While there is limited fundraising and valuation target details available yet the stunning AIM debut of online bathroom products retailer Victorian Plumbing (VIC:AIM) demonstrates that there is strong investor appetite for disruptive, online-only business models in the DIY space, and this suggests that CMO’s flotation could be well-received.

What we do know is that Plymouth-headquartered CMO was founded in 2008 and operates a group of online stores serving trade as well as home improvement/DIY customers.

Guided by CEO Dean Murray, CMO has developed its digital platform over 10 years. It includes builders’ merchant site cmotrade.co.uk, as well as drainagesuperstore.co.uk, doorsuperstore.co.uk and tileandfloorsuperstore.co.uk.

‘HARD TO BEAT’

Building and DIY products e-commerce specialist CMO sells over 75,000 products spanning the specialist fields of roofing, drainage, insulation, energy efficiency and doors, supported by a knowledgeable customer service team offering product and category expertise and a personalised service.

The low cost operator claims its range is ‘hard to beat’ because it works with the major manufacturers who send products directly to building sites and retail customers; this means CMO is able to offer more choice ‘at prices that don’t include the costs of storage or multiple branches’.

GROWING LIKE A WEED

During the 2020 calendar year, CMO again posted successive year-on-year growth thanks to a surge in home improvement projects during the pandemic. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 300% and CMO generated organic growth of 17%.

As finance director Jonathan Lamb commented at the time of the results in March, 2020 proved ‘a uniquely challenging time for many companies’.

However, CMO’s ‘agility as an e-commerce building products retailer allowed us to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the shift in homeowner purchasing habits as we continue to disrupt the market.’

CMO expects growth will be further bolstered by the recent acquisition of Total Tiles, itself seeing impressive growth rates and a competitor to fully listed Topps Tiles (TPT).

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Issue Date: 24 Jun 2021