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Shop Direct EBITDA soars 36%

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Catalogue & online retailer Shop Direct Group has reported a total sales rise of 0.5 per cent in unaudited figures for its full year, it has been announced today.

The Liverpool-based company confirmed that EBITDA rose 36 per cent to £125 million for the 52 weeks to June 30th 2012 thanks to the continued success of its varied brands.

Online fashion retailer Very.co.uk, which earlier this month launched the world’s first festival delivery service, saw sales rise 33 per cent compared to last year while Shop Direct-owned Isme reported a 46 per cent increase.

Over the quarter, online sales accounting for 75 per cent of total turnover while shopping via mobile devices accounted for 12 per cent of sales and Shop Direct CEO Mark Newton-Jones told the Liverpool Echo that this was an encouraging trend.

“A quarter of all our customer traffic is now coming to us via smartphones or tablets rather than personal computers,” he told them.

“That is just amazing. Twelve per cent of sales are coming through smartphones or tablets. Last year it was 5 per cent.”

Electrical and seasonal products sales grew four per cent though clothing & footwear sales fell six per cent while home & furniture sales dipped four per cent compared to last year.

Earlier this month, online retailer Littlewoods named celebrity Myleene Klass as its brand ambassador though this latest marketing move, which follows the e-tailers sponsorship of ITV talent show ‘Superstar’, has not improved sales.

Sales at Littlewoods, Kays and Gus fell nine per cent over the year, and Newton-Jones told Liverpool Daily Post that the group’s pre-tax profit will be negative for the year to June.

“We are planning for the year ahead in the same way as the year past and are budgeting for a 5 per cent fall in sales,” he said.

“But if we see a better environment, we can go out and buy more stock or spend on advertising.”

Published on Friday 27 July by Editorial Assistant

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