Today’s news in brief-16/1/24

Card Factory reported a 10% increase in total sales for the 11 months ending December 2023, reaching £476.9m, driven by robust Christmas trading. The like-for-like (LFL) store revenue surged 7.8% in November and December, attributed to increased transactions and higher average basket values. The Store Evolution Programme positively impacted space optimization for Christmas cards, gifts, and celebration essentials. The board anticipates delivering full-year adjusted profit before tax at the upper end of market expectations (£58.4m to £62.0m).

THG reported a 1.1% revenue increase to £597m in Q4 2023, driven by its beauty and ingenuity divisions. The beauty business achieved Q4 revenue growth of 2.6%, with a significant 9% revenue growth in the UK. The group completed the acquisition of US beauty brand Biossance in December. THG’s nutrition division showed strong margin progression, with FY23 expected to be a record year for THG Nutrition EBITDA performance. The group announced a three-year agreement with Holland & Barrett, making THG Ingenuity the main operational partner for H&B’s ecommerce in the UK and Ireland.

Superdrug experienced a robust Christmas trading period, with total sales rising 9.2% in the four weeks ending December 30, and like-for-like sales increasing by 7.1%. The retailer attributed the success to its focus on online and in-store offerings, as well as providing high-performance products at affordable prices. Sales of own brand products increased by 10%, and the cosmetics range Studio London achieved 20% year-on-year growth.

Mike Ashley is reportedly considering a bid for Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, the fifth largest shopping centre in the UK with approximately 24 million visitors annually. Frasers Group, majority-owned by Ashley, is among the parties interested in the shopping centre, which was put up for sale by British Land and Norges Bank last year with an asking price of £750m. This follows Frasers’ recent acquisitions of The Mall shopping centre in Luton and the Overgate Centre in Dundee.


Hugo Boss reported a 13% increase in currency-adjusted revenues in Q4 2023, reaching €1.17bn (£1.01bn). The full-year 2023 saw record sales of €4.1bn (£3.6bn), up 15%. The Q4 performance included double-digit sales growth in Boss menswear, Boss Womenswear, and Hugo. The company achieved its full-year 2023 sales and earnings targets and expects operating profit to grow by 22% to €410m (£353m).

Ocado returned to positive earnings in its full-year results, reporting a 7% increase in retail revenues to £2.35bn. Q4 2023 sales surged by 10.9% to £609.4m, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of growth. The strong Christmas trading period, with a record level of sales, contributed to this growth. Despite a drag in the first half due to the pandemic and cost of living crisis, the final quarter saw consistent volume growth of 4.8% year-on-year.

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