ScS has welcomed a “record” performance in the half-year ended 23 January 2021, with revenues up by 14.4% to £173.9m, in light of “pent up demand” witnessed over the summer.
In the same period, profit before tax rose to £17.7m, up from a loss of £0.6m reported the prior year, while gross sales rose by 13.9% to £182.3m.
Despite store closures throughout the autumn and key winter sales period, the group said that like-for-like order intake for the half-year was down by only 9.1%.
Meanwhile, online sales soared by 81.3% to £17.7m, up from £9.8m the year before. In addition, the group saw online order growth of 157.5% for the first seven weeks of the second half of the year to 13 March 2021.
Despite this, overall order intake fell by 87.2% on a like-for-like basis for the same seven week period due to the ongoing store closures, resulting in an order intake decline of 23.8% for the 33 weeks to 13 March 2021.
Looking ahead, whilst consumer confidence and the economic environment remain “uncertain” and the group is unable to provide “clarity” on its outlook for the coming months, it remains “cautiously optimistic” ahead of store reopenings this April.
David Knight, CEO of ScS said: “We are delighted to be reporting a strong result for the first half of the year, and continue to make progress on our strategic priorities. The group has built a robust balance sheet in recent years and remains focused on cost and cash management to ensure it maintains its resilience in these challenging times.
“The business continues to adapt and respond to trading conditions, with increased focus on the development of our digital channels. We are confident that our underlying priority of providing an excellent customer experience with outstanding value, quality and choice, will continue to prove successful.”
He added: “This is my final results statement as CEO of ScS, with my handover to Steve Carson, who joined the business on 6 January 2021, progressing well. It was always my plan to leave the business when I felt it was on a firm financial foundation with strong succession plans in place.
“I have every confidence that the team we have built over recent years will continue to bring success to the business and have been inspired by the dedication of all our colleagues in such uncertain times. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team here at ScS, our customers, partners and our shareholders for their continued support.”