Furniture retailer grows sales and narrows losses

Furniture retailer Anglia Home Furnishings Ltd, trading as Fabb Furniture, has reported a growth in sales as turnover jumped by more than £10m.

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 31 March 2023, total sales rose 38.8% to £42.2m from £30.4m in 2022.

Pre-tax losses resulted at £1.7m, narrowing from a loss of £3m recorded in the previous year.

Stated within its report, the company said: “This financial year 2023 was predominantly affected by rising costs from the energy sector as a direct result of the conflict in Europe. These costs continued to rise throughout the year, impacting the business both directly and via increasing costs from our UK manufacturers.

“However, conversely, the cost of freight on overseas imports, which had been considerably impacting margin since 2020, continued to soften reaching pre-pandemic levels by Quarter 3.

“Despite the trading conditions sales increased considerably, gross turnover reported record levels for the business. Leadtime’s reduced to usual levels throughout the year, enabling a much-improved customer journey to the prior year, whereby ongoing stock shortages alongside pockets of oversees port & manufacturing lockdowns had contributed to delays.

“Reducing freight costs throughout the year slowly began to ease margin pressures around September/October 2022 and margin slowly began to increase, ending the financial year on a margin of 44.5%, an increase of 1.2% on prior year. However, during the last quarter of financial year 2023, margins had risen to an average of 48.1%, indicating a continuing upward trend.

“The first Quarter of Financial year 2024 margin reports an average of 51.3%, and this is expected to improve further, due to continuing price pressure easing, new sourcing agreements and renewed product offering.

“Throughout the year, the business continued to refresh its retail offer by updating product ranges, improving store branding, sourcing best cost prices to mitigate necessary increases to the end consumer, and further investment into staff training.

“The store estate had an additional three stores added to the portfolio throughout the year, Watford, Cheltenham, and Swindon, as well as the closure of two stores being in Poole & Hayes. Poole was closed at the end of its lease, as it was no longer strategically placed for continued operations.

“Hayes was closed due to a landlord site redevelopment, and therefore the business was compensated for an early exit of its lease. The addition of the new store’s volumes is in line with budgeted expectations.

“During 2020/2021 the business had agreed several rent deferments with its landlords to cover the trading periods affected by lockdowns. These have now been fully repaid, by the business, by the agreed dates during 2022.

“In the new financial year 2024, the business has already seen a much-improved delivered trading performance year on year and is already reporting a cumulative EBITDA improvement to period 4 last year of over £400k, with YTD to P4 now EBITDA positive. Which also exceeds budgeted expectations. Margin is reporting an increase of 9% versus previous year over the same period for reasons highlighted earlier.”

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