Sales at Studio Retail grew by 32% in a record-breaking third quarter of its financial year and the group confirmed its proposed sale process is ongoing.
Chief executive, Phil Maudsley, commented: “This was an outstanding Q3 and peak trading performance across the Studio business. The strong sales momentum continued through the period, demonstrating the strength and attractiveness of our online value retail offer.”
The unaudited adjusted profit before tax for the Group for the 39 weeks to the end of December 2020 was around £16m ahead of the equivalent period in the previous year, compared to year-on-year growth of £6m seen in the first half. Record-breaking sales were seen amid trading on Black Friday and in lead-up to Christmas.
The online retailer’s customer base currently stands at 2.3m, which includies 1.5m active credit account customers. Nearly one million customers have now downloaded the Studio App which has produced more than 20% of sales this year. Studio Retail Group has lending facilities in place to underwrite credit sales made to customers whose accounts are up to date or have only one payment owing. Credit sales eligible to be supported in this way increased by 19% to £349m according to the trading statement.
Education resources provider, Findel Education, which is also owned by the group, saw improving rates of sales growth, with total sales in Q3 up 15% on the prior year, although the recent announcement of school closures is expected to lead to a reduction in sales once again in the coming weeks.
The retailer also reported that it is working with local authorities to administer lateral flow Covid-19 tests as part of extra social distancing measures and says it now has minimal staff on its sites.
The group recently put itself up for sale at the request of shareholders who say it is undervalued by the stockmarket. That process is taking place now, and the retailer says further announcements will be made when appropriate.
Paul Kendrick, MD of Studio Retail commented: “A lot of hard work by everyone in Studio in some challenging times; proud of what the team delivered. Now let’s see what 2021 can bring.”