Sales up but profits down as White Stuff continues international expansion

White Stuff The Body Shop

White Stuff has posted a rise in full year sales but a drop in profits as it continues its international expansion drive.

For the year to April 29, the high street chain recorded sales growth of 6.2 per cent while underlying EBITDA plummeted by 29.4 per cent to £14.4 million.

White Stuff’s retail and online arms had upticks of 4.9 per cent uptick to £102.2 million 9.9 per cent to £42.3 million respectively, while its wholesale business increased by 4.6 per cent to £9.1 million.

Meanwhile, its overall international sales soared by 41.9 per cent during the year, with the retail arm alone skyrocketing by 89 per cent.

White Stuff said its full year results were impacted by an investment drive for 32 new shops and concessions, 18 of which were in the UK.

Of other 14 new stores, nine were in Germany, three in Belgium and two in Italy.

READ MORE:  White Stuff CEO to step down

The retailer also closed down its concession at department store Elys of Wimbledon, London and withdrew its two stores in Denmark to focus more on the German market.

By the end of its fiscal year, it had 131 stores and 53 concessions around the UK and the world.

White Stuff said it also planned to to open two UK shops and relocate one in the current financial year, as well as launch a new web platform in autumn.

The news comes as chief executive Jeremy Seigal recently announced his resignation from the retailer, with an exit date set for December 31 unless a successor is recruited prior to that.

White Stuff also recently announced 28 redundancies across several departments at its head office.

“Like many retailers, we have faced a challenging trading environment since the start of our new financial year,” the retailer said in its trading update.

“The perceived uncertainty created in our consumer‘s mind by Brexit and the factual reality of external headwinds created by the living wage, pension costs and exchange rates, have required us to realign the business to its future needs.

“This has unfortunately resulted in a number of redundancies at our head office. Our priority remains to put the customer first.”

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