Studio has also seen its revenue increase 33% to £578.6m in what the group describes as a “transformational year”.
“The Covid 19 pandemic showed the resilience and agility of Studio, and we emerge from it a much stronger business,” commented Studio chief executive Paul Kendrick. “The changes over the last few years, to transform Studio into a digital value retailer with integrated financial services, meant we could react quickly to changing market conditions, and deliver record levels of growth in sales, profit and customer numbers.”
Studio has seen its profit before tax rise by 513% to £41.7m. In the 52 weeks ending March 26th, revenue at the online retailer increased 33% to £578.6m, compared to £434.9m last year. Adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations was £48.8m, up 79% from £27.3m last year, while the group’s core net debt was reduced by £24.3m to £27.6m.
In April, the group launched a strategic review and sold Findel Education for £30m. It has recently completed a refinancing of the group’s £50m core bank facility with a new maturity date of September 2024, providing a medium-term liquidity platform for growth.
The report identified a route to growth around driving up the company’s share of customer spend, and the annual spend per customer, through broader product choice. The company higlighted a focus on own-brand, great value products and singled out its own brand toy ranges – particularly wooden toys – as a key area.
Paul Kendrick added: “The success of the last year could not have been achieved without the commitment and hard work of all our colleagues and I am proud of how they have strived through the year to deliver for our customers. With the strong performance last year, and having sold the Findel Education business, Studio is in a stronger financial position and is now focused on pushing forward with a well-defined purpose that delivers great value, affordable products for our customers.”
Studio also reported that its active customer base was at record levels, increasing by 35% to 2.5m in March, 15% of which had an active credit account – a 14% year-on-year increase.
“The business has a clear growth strategy,” continued Paul, “fueled by its digital capabilities, service enhancements and ability to utilise data to drive better customer targeting, credit underwriting and product offers. All of this bodes well as we emerge from the pandemic and I am confident Studio can go from strength to strength and benefit all stakeholders.”