The furniture and flooring retailer opened its 100th store during the financial year – a trading period which also saw sales climb 4.4% to £349.5million and pre-tax profit up nearly 10% to £12million.
Sofa Carpet Specialist’s (SCS) performance for the year ended July 29, 2017 was “slightly ahead of market expectations” said chairman Alan Smith.
Following on from a positive 2016, the retailer delivered another year of growth, with gross profit up 3% to £153.7million and EBIDTA increasing 8.4% to £17million, despite “challenging conditions” in the second half of the trading period, with footfall and consumer confidence both slumping, noted Mr Smith.
“Against this backdrop, and very strong prior year comparatives, I am proud of our two-year like-for-like order intake growth of 14.3%,” he said. “We have also continued to identify and implement various business efficiencies, which have helped to increase our EBITDA margin and resulted in a 7.8% increase in earnings per share (EPS) from 21.8p to 23.5p.”
SCS reached a major milestone during the trading year, takings its store portfolio to 100, having opened outlets in Thanet (Kent), Edinburgh, and Plymouth on Boxing Day 2016. These stores, as well as a new branch in Aberdeen, contributed towards the uptick in revenue, gross profit and EBITDA, said the company, adding that the additions to its growing estate will “help the group continue to target sustainable growth and improve the overall resilience of the business”.
A new SCS store is set to open in Chelmsford on December 26 this year.
Sales density per sq ft at its SCS stores increased by 3.2% to £226 during the year, whilst gross sales at the 27 concessions it operates within House of Fraser stores climbed 8.3% to £27.4million.
As all of SCS’ stores are located on out-of-town retail parks, the concessions – which have been integrated into the business for over three years now - target customers who prefer to shop in department stores and town centres, enabling the retailer to access a wider demographic.
Another key growth area for the sofa and flooring specialist was online, with gross sales up 12.3% to £11.3m.
SCS CEO David Knight commented: “We are delighted to be reporting continued sales growth across all areas of the Group for the third year in a row. The core ScS business has continued to focus on providing excellent choice, value and quality for our customers, and I am pleased to see this delivering record results in furniture and flooring sales.”
He added: “Since the start of the current financial year, trading performance has been in line with our expectations. Furthermore, we believe the Group’s increasing resilience will enable us to manage the continued economic uncertainty and take advantage of opportunities.”