Today’s news in brief-20/09/23

Dunelm announced record sales in its full-year results, with revenues rising by 5.5% to £1.64bn. However, profits fell by 7.7% to £192.7m. The company attributed the strong sales to cost reductions on over 1,000 products and the strength of its product range. Dunelm also invested over £20m in digital operations and opened three new stores. The group remains cautiously optimistic about future sales and profit growth, while acknowledging unpredictable consumer behaviour.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a surprise drop in the headline rate of inflation to 6.7% in August. This was attributed to lower price increases in food and accommodation services. Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 0.3% between July and August, compared to a rise of 1.5% in the same period last year. However, rising motor fuel prices contributed to an upward change in annual rates. Despite the drop, the Bank of England may still consider a rise in interest rates.

Online greeting cards and gifting platform, Moonpig, expects pro forma revenue to grow at a low single digit percentage rate in the first half of the current financial year. It also foresees consolidated revenue growth at a mid to high single digit percentage rate, with all brands returning to growth in the second half. The company plans to introduce new features like the Moonpig Plus subscription service and the Greetz app. Trading conditions are in line with expectations, and adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to remain resilient.

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Asda has appointed Adrian Berry as the new chief technology officer and Rob Barnes as the delivery director to oversee the development of its technology strategy and separation from Walmart. Berry, with significant industry experience, will be responsible for core technology teams. Barnes, currently the CTO of M&S, will focus on colleague and customer-facing technology. These appointments aim to strengthen Asda’s technology capabilities as it navigates its separation from Walmart.


Naked Wines reported a loss of £15m for the ended 3 April 2023, compared to a profit of £2.9m the previous year. This was attributed to non-cash goodwill impairment and inventory provision charges. Total sales dropped by 8% on a comparable 52-week basis. However, adjusted EBITDA increased to £17.4m, driven by lower new customer investment. Looking ahead, Naked Wines expects a decline in full-year revenues but is focused on delivering profitable growth amidst a challenging trading environment.

The Poeticgem Group has reportedly acquired the brand IP of womenswear brand Little Mistress. Under the agreement, Poeticgem will own various brands under the Little Mistress umbrella and will handle design, sourcing, and distribution. The Little Mistress brand will be renamed to Moda and Beyond. Founder and CEO Mark Ashton will join Poeticgem and continue to lead the brand under its new identity. This acquisition follows Little Mistress’ deal with Sainsbury’s to be stocked online and in some stores at the beginning of 2023.


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