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Shop Direct boosted by strong performance at Very

Shop Direct, the owner of Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, has seen its full year revenue rise by 1.5% to £1.95 billion following a strong performance at Very.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Shop Direct boosted by strong performance at Very

Shop Direct, the owner of Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, has seen its full year revenue rise by 1.5% to £1.95 billion following a strong performance at Very.

In the year to 30 June, operating profit before exceptional items climbed by 9.5% to £224.6 million while EBITDA rose by 11% to £262.3 million. However, the company has reported a statutory pre-tax loss of £24.7 million compared to a pre-tax profit of £24.9 million in the previous year after incurring costs to cover additional customer redress and the establishment of a new fulfilment centre.

Revenue at Very was up 9.9% to £1.4 billion in the period driven by strong customer recruitment, increased app penetration and growth in the retailer’s electrical and seasonal categories

Meanwhile revenue at Littlewoods fell by 14.5% to £569.7 million which Shop Direct attributed to the annualisation of the closure of a commission scheme in the prior year, and a “challenged furniture and homewares performance”.

Henry Birch, Shop Direct’s recently appointed group chief executive, said: “Four months into my role as CEO, I’m hugely excited by the potential of Shop Direct. Today we’re announcing results that show a good underlying performance in a competitive external market.

“Impressive growth in Very and increases in group revenue and EBITDA show the resilience of our business, which is mobile-first, multi-category, and both a retailer and a credit provider.”

The company said orders from its Very smartphone app climbed by 39.5% on the previous year to account for 25.4% of total orders across all devices. On average, app customers were found to visit the site twice as frequently as other customers and the app had a 10% better conversion rate compared with other sales channels.

Looking ahead to the busy Christmas trading period, Birch said the company is trading in line with expectations. He added: “It’s a changing and competitive market but our growth trajectory and differentiated customer offer gives us confidence for the year ahead.”

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