Theo Paphitis Group hails strong Christmas performance
Theo Paphitis Retail Group saw its total sales rise by 15.6% in the run-up to Christmas compared to the same time in 2019.
The strong performance in the six weeks to 24 December was driven by online growth of 87.5% as store sales declined by 6.3%.
Looking at the individual brands, the Boux Avenue lingerie retailer increased its sales by 50.6% on 2019 following growth in both ecommerce and in-store.
Meanwhile, the Robert Dyas homewares retailer doubled its sales online in the period and the Ryman stationery retailer grew its online sales by 56.4%.
Theo Paphitis, chairman of Ryman, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue said: “The group’s 15.6% overall growth during our peak trading period, versus pre-pandemic 2019, including stores and ecommerce, shows further progress and resilience through and out of lockdowns. Stores were only slightly behind the comparable period in 2019 for the group, with Boux Avenue the star performer of the group in this area, with a strong performance of 50.6%.
“The strength of our ecommerce trading masks the much more challenging store environment, in particular in city centres and prime locations, where business rates are unfairly high. It is therefore a major disappointment that this has failed to be structurally addressed by the Chancellor.”
Giving figures for the year ending 31 March, the group said Boux Avenue achieved sales growth of 9.1% following a strategic review. The business also reduced its underlying EBITDA loss to £3.5 million from a previous £14.9 million despite disruption and costs relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. Online sales at the business climbed by 129.7% on 2020.
At Ryman, the retailer posted an EBITDA loss of £8.5 million compared to a profit of £7.8 million in the prior year which meant it ended its run of over 25 years of profitable performance. The group said this was a result of Ryman’s prominence in city centres, business and student markets which meant it was impacted particularly badly by lockdowns.
Meanwhile, Robert Dyas delivered growth on last year with online sales up 88% compared to the previous 12 months. This helped to mitigate the impact of the pandemic with an improvement in EBITDA of £2.4 million which meant it made a loss of only £0.7 million.
Paphitis added: “We are pleased with the performance and progress in the financial year ended March 2021 and inevitably the pandemic has affected our brands in different ways, with Boux Avenue and Robert Dyas making excellent progress in this last year. The results demonstrate the hard work and dedication of our colleagues across the group, and how the stores and online arms have worked together, building on our strategy and crucial investment prior to and during the pandemic. ”
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