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Waterstones FY20 revenues decline 4.3% to £376m

The books retailer also saw a contraction in profits after tax, falling 8.3% from £22.7m in FY19 to £20.8m in FY20

Waterstones has reported a 4.3% year-on-year decline in revenues to £376m for the 52 weeks ended 25 April 2020.

The books retailer also saw a contraction in profits after tax, falling 8.3% from £22.7m in FY19 to £20.8m in FY20.

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For consecutive years, no dividend was paid or declared during the period, with the profit instead being transferred to the group’s reserves.

As of 25 April 2020, Waterstones’ net assets sat at £61.6m, a 53.5% spike from the £40.2m it entered the period with.

The group said it was subject to a “significant decline in revenue” following the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions towards the end of the period, however this was “mitigated to a degree” by an uptick in online sales.

Waterstones added: “During the periods of enforced closure, tight control of costs aided by the government support measures and the welcome sharing by most of our landlords of the impacts of closures, have ensured the financial resilience of the company, and the online operations have performed very well. 

“When allowed to trade, the shops have performed above expectations. Since the start of the pandemic, sales of books, as well as other categories core to the business such as educational toys, board games and puzzles, have enjoyed a strong growth in sales from which Waterstones has benefited.”

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