Booths records first sales rise in 5 years, but losses persist

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Booths records first sales rise in 5 years, but losses persist
Booths said a programme of investment to modernise its store estate was now underway.
// Booths reports 0.5% increase in full-year revenue to £259.3m – the first sales increase in five years
// However, it booked a third consecutive trading loss of £1.2m, but this is better than previous year’s £2.2m loss
// Like for like sales increased by 1.3%

Booths has recorded an uptick in full-year sales for the first time in five years, and although its operating profit also grew, the grocer booked pre-tax and trading losses.

According to accounts filed at Companies House this week, the upmarket grocer reported a 0.5 per cent increase in revenue to £259.3 million for the full-year period ending March 30.

Like for like sales increased by 1.3 per cent when taking into account non-comparable Easter periods, and transactional growth was up by four per cent on the previous year.

Booths credited this performance to an abnormally hot summer last year, which – coupled with the World Cup, a royal wedding and a “record” Christmas trading period – was offset by reduced customer spending for the rest of the year.


READ MORE: Booths posts Christmas sales & profit growth


The retailer also said its sales trajectory defied wider trends in the grocery market as it “continued to improve” towards the end of the year.

Despite this, Booths booked a third consecutive trading loss of £1.2 million, although this was an improvement on the previous year’s loss of £2.2 million.

On a pre-tax basis, the retailer recorded a loss of £5.4 million, which it said was in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, full-year EBITDA grew 6.4 per cent year-on-year to £6.9 million, which was boosted by a two-fold growth in business-to-business to £3.4 million – thanks to investment in Preston manufacturing facilities to meet a growing demand for Booths’ own-branded products sold by Amazon, Dobbies Garden Centres and others.

Booths said a programme of investment to modernise its store estate was now underway.

Upgrades were undertaken at five stores across its 28-store estate with further refurbishments planned for the next financial year.

“There is positive momentum at Booths as we continue to transform the business into a vibrant multi-channel retailer,” Booths chief executive Edwin Booth said.

“The Booths culture holds fast as teams continue to deliver the magic around the Booths way of doing business valuing people, product and place.

“Booths is a business with renewed focus and energy and the ensuing year will see the continuation of work to grow profitability in an increasingly competitive market.”

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