Fashion and homewares retailer maintains sales growth

Fashion, homewares and furnishings retailer Joe Browns has reported another growth in sales as turnover climbed towards £50m.

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 30 June 2023, total sales rose 2.1% to £48.2m from £47.2m in 2022, adding to its growth of 21% from £39m in 2021.

Pre-tax profit resulted at £1.9m, down from £5m recorded the previous year.

Stated within its report, the company said that mail order sales rose by £0.4m, while both retail and wholesale increased by £0.3m each.

Sales in the UK were up 2.3% to £47.2m from £46.1m, while EU revenues increased to £959,000 from £930,000. Sales outside the EU declined from £215,000 to £60,000.

“The increase in turnover came from continuing growth among the Company’s marketplace partners,” the business said. “The Company was affected by inflationary pressures, which pushed up the cost of raw materials purchased by the Company.

“In addition, it flattened retail sales in the Company’s markets by reducing the discretionary spend available to customers. The increased cost of sales saw gross profit fall to £28.3m, £0.6m less than in the prior year, a decrease from 61% to 59%.

“Marketing expenditure increased by £1.4m as the Company invested to recruit new customers and keep its existing clients engaged. Some of this increase was due to the rise in the cost of paper needed to print catalogues.

“The Company believes its marketing strategy was effective during the year, given the challenging economic environment with stagnant overall retail sales in the UK, prompting heavy discounting by competitors. This is a tactic the Company did not copy so as not to devalue the brand or create an expectation amongst its customers about future promotions, which may erode long-term profitability.

“Overheads rose by £0.4m. Most of this increase was generated by a rise in rent and rates as the coronavirus concessions negotiated by the Company continued to unwind. Power was also a significant contributor, with prices increasing after Russia invaded Ukraine.”

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