Very Group sales rise as fashion, sports bounce back, but Littlewoods struggles
Revenue at the Very.co.uk operation grew 9.6% to £403.8 million as it benefited from a selection of strong brands plus a mobile-first customer experience. However, the picture was very different at Littlewoods where revenue fell 17.7% to £80.3 million.
The company said that EBITDA before exceptional items rose 21.5% to £17.1 million. And pre-tax profit increased to £13.5 million from £8.6 million a year ago.
Retail sales for the entire operation were up 3.9% with its flagship Very brand growing its retail sales by 8.6%.
The company also said that as life in the UK normalises, it's starting to see a shift to a more typical basket. That means the big growth categories last year that were all about working and living at home are now taking a backseat compared to Fashion & Sports, which was the biggest growth category this time. Sales here rose 14.5% as women's high street brands, plus men's and women's casualwear turned in particularly strong performances. Sportswear also remained buoyant with growth of 7.3%, which divided into 8.2% in clothing and 6.4% in footwear.
The performance impressed analysts and Kunaal Shah, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, expects further growth ahead. He said that Very’s new stockless fulfilment partnership with Adidas and Reebok “will further boost” sportswear.
And he added that the group’s plans to roll out this model to more brands in 2022, “will provide consumers with greater product choice and delivery options, enabling the online player to widen its appeal”.
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