The Very Group returns to profit in FY20

The Very Group, which operates online retail brands Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, said in a statement that Very.co.uk retail sales increased 10.5 percent to 1,229.6 million pounds driving Very.co.uk revenue up 6.8 percent to 1,589.8 million pounds and group revenue growth of 2.9 percent to 2,050.7 million pounds. Littlewoods, the company added, managed decline slowed at 8.8 percent to 460.9 million pounds compared to 11.3 percent drop in FY19. The group returned to profit, recording profit before tax of 48 million pounds, while underlying group EBITDA was lower by 2.9 percent to 264.4 million pounds and group gross margin declined 3.1 pts to 36.5 percent.

Commenting on the company’s annual performance, Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: “I am delighted to announce a strong set of results and a return to profitability in FY20. The economic landscape will remain unpredictable. However, we believe our flexible and resilient business model, which gives customers access to the brands they love via flexible ways to pay, will help us thrive as customers continue to rely on online shopping.”

Financial highlights of The Very Group’s performance in FY20

Very.co.uk customers grew 14.1 percent to 3.40 million driving growth in group customers of 10.6 percent to 4.48 million. Very.co.uk’s share of UK non-food market rose by over 1 percent pt in the final quarter and the company has witnessed a strong start to FY21 with first quarter retail sales in double-digit growth.

The company reported growth across all Very.co.uk categories. Electrical product sales rose 18 percent driven by audio and small domestic appliances, up 76 percent and 22.9 percent respectively, Home sales rose 13 percent, with garden tools posting 35.2 percent growth and other categories saw 10.5 percent sales rise, which includes toys, gifts, beauty and leisure. The company further said that fashion and sports category rose 0.9 percent, including strong growth in women’s and children’s sports clothing, up 21.6 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively.

The company introduced over 100 new brands and expanded existing relationships including addition of Topshop and Mint Velvet in fashion, and expansion of existing brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Barbour and Hugo Boss, onboarded 50 new beauty brands including Elemis, Cowshed, Iconic London, Delilah, Nip + Fab and Ren and new home brands like furniture label Swoon, and home improvement names Rust-Oleum and Craig & Rose paint, which helped to drive sales during the Covid-19 outbreak. Existing brands that performed particularly well included Ted Baker and Oasis in home, and Lay-z-spa, Keter and Karcher in garden.

The company said, Very.co.uk website visits increased 28.8 percent across all channels and orders placed via the Very app increased 34.4 percent year-on-year to represent 35.7 percent of total Very orders compared to 29.5 percent in FY19. Total group sales via mobile devices increased 3ppts year-on-year to 82 percent of total online sales.

The company also announced that Andy Burton, group CTO, will be leaving the company in February 2021 to take a new role in a different sector.

Picture credit:The Very Group

 

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