Very Group, the parent company of online retailers Very and Littlewoods, has reported an increase in sales and profitability in the first quarter of the year, driven by a strong performance of the fashion category.
Group sales increased by 3.9 percent to 484.1 million pounds in the 13 weeks to October 2 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, driven by a 9.6 percent increase in Very sales to 403.8 million pounds.
Sales at Littlewoods, meanwhile, were down 17.7 percent to 80.3 million pounds.
Group retail sales were up 2.9 percent, with Very retail sales up 8.6 percent.
Shifting shopping habits
Very Group said it saw a return to “a more typical basket” from its customers during the period following a shift in shopping habits brought about by the pandemic.
Its biggest growth came from the fashion and sports category, where sales were up 14.5 percent, driven by a particularly strong performance in womenswear high street brands and men’s and women’s casualwear brands.
Sportswear increased by 7.3 percent in the period, with clothing up 8.2 percent and footwear up 6.4 percent.
Meanwhile, home revenue, which had performed strongly during the pandemic as consumers looked to spruce up their houses during lockdown, decreased by 16.7 percent.
The group made a profit before tax of 13.5 million pounds, up from 8.6 million pounds a year ago.
Its pre-exceptional EBITDA increased to 70.1 million pounds from 57.6 million pounds.