Superdrug reports annual sales and profit increase despite Covid disruption
Superdrug grew its pre-tax profit by 141.3% to £45.3 million in the 53 weeks of its 2021 financial year despite continued disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The health and beauty retailer also increased its revenue by 5.1% to £1.2 billion as online sales rose by nearly 50% compared to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.
Superdrug chief executive Peter Macnab said: “Our annual reports show that 2021 was another year spent tackling the effects of Covid-19 and I would like to thank our 13,100 colleagues for the continued energy, commitment and passion they have put into making Superdrug the strong and resilient business it is today.”
The retailer’s online doctor and eNHS services continued to grow in the year and complemented the provision of healthcare services in-store through its 194 pharmacies. The latter distributed more than 200,000 Covid lateral flow tests as part of the NHS pharmacy collect service and gave 200,000 patients their Covid-19 vaccinations.
New services going live in 2021 included “store to door” and rapid delivery as part of Superdrug’s “offline plus online” strategy. The retailer also invested in 14 new stores to take the total to 796 at the year end.
Superdrug said it is now seeing significant pressure on operating margins due to inflation and is “doing what it can” to minimise the impact of price rises.
Mcnab added: “Although we expect the UK retail environment to remain challenging, the resilience of our online and healthcare channels, coupled with our clear future strategy to operate in both the Offline and Online channels, focus on our cost base, and drive efficiencies that can be invested in improving our customer and colleague offering, leaves us well positioned to grow successfully in 2022 and beyond.”