Ann Summers aims to boost shop numbers as UK sales climb
Lingerie and pleasure retailer Ann Summers said its turnover reached over £100m in the year ending June 2022, as it revealed plans to open more stores across the UK.
The retailer, which has 88 stores across the UK and Ireland, plans to open four or five more stores in 2024, a new filing posted on Companies House shows.
It is the first set of financial results Ann Summers has released since its former boss Jacqueline Gold passed away in March this year, with the company revealing retail sales were up 7.6 per cent compared to 2020 and 5.4 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.
Maria Hollins, chief executive said: “We started the year strongly with stores re-opening and footfall gradually returning to the High Street, but the rise of the Omincron variant disrupted the key Christmas trading period as customers sought to protect their family Christmas plans.”
Hollins added: “In the latter part of the financial year, profitability was hindered by significant price increases in freight fuelled by the Ukraine/Russia conflict and the reinstatement of business rates in April.”
Gross profit also reached £60m, up from £50.9m the prior year as its balance sheet was bolstered by the roll out of more diverse underwear lines and a customer loyalty scheme.
Meanwhile, the group said its operating profit for the year was down to £1.2m compared to £3.5m the prior year, with the group blaming Covid-19 disruptions for the dip.
“2022 was a year of two halves for Ann Summers. We started the year strongly and optimistic that after the disruption the pandemic had caused in recent years, this would be the year that we saw a return to normality,” the company said. “With stores open and footfall gradually returning to the highstreet, it felt like this would be the case.”
It added that profitability was hindered by challenges in its supply chain due in part to increases in the price of freight.
“This was further exacerbated by the Ukraine/Russia conflict which has resulted in cost increases across key operational areas of the business,” it said.
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