Furniture retailer ScS has announced that gross profit is expected to increase 0.3% to £71.7m during the first half of the year, but has delayed the release of its full results due to recent coronavirus measures introduced.
In its upcoming interim results, it also expects gross sales to increase 0.5% to £160.1m despite “low consumer confidence”, while group revenue will increase to £152m, up from £151.4m the year prior.
The full results are subject to a “short delay” as a result of yesterday’s changes to the UK government policy in relation to the COVID- 19 virus, which the group said it is currently reviewing in conjunction with its auditors.
Regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, the group also said that it “cannot predict” the impact that it might have on the group’s business.
Its management has considered “severe but plausible downside sensitivity scenarios”, but these “do not include the most severe of possibilities”, such as prolonged store closure.
David Knight, chief executive officer of ScS, said: “In the past week we have seen reduced footfall and we are mindful of the developing situation with Covid-19 and the potential impact on deliveries and demand. However, we believe the group is as well positioned as it can be.”
Nonetheless, the group noted that investment in its e-commerce offering has driven an online sales increase of 24.5% to £9.8m, while it has also maintained a “continued focus” on customer service during this period.
Knight said: “Trading has strengthened since our market update on 29 January 2020, with like-for-like order intake in the last seven weeks growing 3.3%.
“This is a significant improvement on trading for the first 26 weeks of the year, which had a like-for-like order intake decline of 4.4%.”
He added: “Whilst consumer confidence remains low, the group has been successful in sustaining profitable growth and increasing its resilience.
“We continue to focus on providing excellent value, quality and choice for our customers, and are committed to our strategy.”
Further details in relation to the impact Covid-19 may have on the group will be set out in the interim financial statements.