Oct 25, 2022
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Very Group revenue dips against FY21 but leaps ahead of pre-Covid year

Oct 25, 2022

Very Group has released its results for the year to early July and they show the company enjoying a “robust performance at Very in [a] challenging market”.

Very Group

The digital retailer, which also owns the Littlewoods online brand, said fashion sales and its Very Finance operation drove the strong Very.co.uk performance.

Group revenue rose 4.8% to £2.148 billion compared to the pre-pandemic financial year (FY20) with the Very division up 12.6% at £1.79 billion. Very Finance revenue growth was 10.7% to £397.9 million.

But given the boost the firm saw during the pandemic (along with many other online retailers), its group revenue fell 7.3% against its “best-ever year” FY21, while the Very webstore was down 4%.

That said group profit before tax increased 2.2% to £63.9 million compared with FY21.

But underlying Group EBITDA decreased 3% to £291.4 million, after accounting for an additional £5 million bad debt and 53rd week in FY21. However, the EBITDA margin grew to 13.6% from 13% due to “strong cost control and greater contribution from Very Finance”.

And “as a result of diligent cost management”, costs as a percentage of revenue fell 1.6ppts to 23.2%.

Looking at the year’s performance in more detail, Very retail sales declined 7.7% to £1.417 billion against FY21 but grew 15.3% on a two-year basis.

Fashion and sports “made a resurgence as customers returned to more normal shopping habits, with Very fashion sales growing 6% year-on-year”.  It saw particular growth in women's high street brands (+87%) and designer brands (+50%).

It added brands across all categories, including Sosandar, Crew, Estée Lauder fragrance, Simba and Ninja. But it’s not only focusing on the high end and recently launched its Everyday fashion and home collection with over 700 items, of which 85% are available for less than £30.

CFO Ben Fletcher said: “I am pleased to report another robust performance, driven by ongoing structural growth in the Very brand, our integrated business model – which continues to prove resilient as we adapt to changing customer behaviour. We also successfully managed costs, achieving a reduction relative to revenue despite inflationary pressures.

“While the rising cost of living and other economic conditions present challenges for all retailers, we’re confident in our resilient and adaptable business model – which combines multi-category online retail with flexible ways to pay. We now turn our attention to delivering an amazing Christmas for the families we serve.”

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