ScS has been “encouraged” by a period of strong trading in FY21, despite stores being closed for 17 weeks of the period, with its full year like-for-like order intake down by only 6.5% on 2019.
The group said that when stores have been open, performance has been “encouragingly” strong, with the final seven weeks of the year seeing like-for-like orders rise 23.7% against 2019.
The same period in the prior year benefited from “strong” pent up demand following the re-opening of stores in May 2020 after the first national lockdown.
At 31 July 2021, the group’s order book was £103.5m, £1.2m lower than at the same point in the prior year but £60.6m higher than at the same point in 2019.
The update has been issued ahead of its preliminary results which are set to be published on 5 October.
In a statement, the retailer said: “The board is encouraged by the strong trading performance since reopening and therefore believes that the Group is in a strong position as we enter the new financial year.
“The next few months still hold a level of uncertainty, with the tone of government messaging at present being one of caution. However, given recent trading and the strength of the current order book, the board’s expectations for FY21 and FY22 are ahead of current market forecasts.”