Profits soar at Shop Direct

The Liverpool online retailer, Shop Direct has reported positive annual results, as it revealed a surge in daily visitor numbers to its websites, including star performer Very.

The company said group, ebitda in the year to the end of June had surged 24% to £164.8m as sales increased 3% to £1.74bn. Profit before tax and amortisation more than doubled to £64.6m., the mid-market fashion-led department store, endorsed by celebrities such as Fearne Cotton, Holly Willoughby and Mark Wright, is now the biggest brand in the Shop Direct family. Sales in the year rose 23.1% to more than £700m.

In 2015 the group is launching a new high-end brand, Very Exclusive, to capitalise on the success of Very. This will feature ranges such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, McQ, See by Chloe, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and Karl Lagerfeld.

Shop Direct said 84% of sales were completed online during the year, up from 78% in the 2012/13 financial year. Of this figure 44% were made on mobile devices – this proportion has hit 52% in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Daily visitor numbers to its six websites jumped 19% in the year to 950,000

Chief executive Alex Baldock said:

“These are strong results, driven by the outstanding growth of and the unrelenting boom in m-commerce. Mobile continues to be a game changer for us, with more than half of our online sales now from smartphones and tablets.”

“It’s clear that our strategy is working and we’ve made some big strides toward building a world class digital retailer. But we’re nowhere near the full potential of this business, there’s a ton more to do, and we’ll continue to invest heavily to get it done.”

“Looking ahead, we’re excited to have announced the launch of our new luxury etail brand, Very Exclusive, which will take place during London Fashion Week in February 2015. In the meantime, our focus is on delivering another great Christmas for our millions of customers against what remains a tough economic backdrop.”

With the key Christmas trading period looming, Shop Direct’s 10 gift predictions are:

1. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
2. Onesies
3. Faux fur
4. Disney Frozen ice skating dolls
5. iPad Mini 3
6. GHD stylers
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids
8. BaByliss Curl Secret
9. Teksta Robotic Puppy
10. Lynx gift sets

Source: The Business Desk


Words: Daniel Pearce

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