// For the 12 months to August 1 last year, The White Company’s group operating profit increased 4% to £14.1m
// Turnover rose 4% to £226.3m, bolstered by strong online sales
The White Company has posted a boost in full year profits despite being hammered by the first nationwide lockdown during the year and thanks to strong online sales.
For the 12 month period to August 1 last year, the retailer said group operating profit increased four per cent to £14.1 million.
Group turnover rose four per cent on a comparable 52-week basis to £226.3 million, bolstered by strong online sales.
The White Company also opened two new stores and two new concessions in the UK, bringing the total number of stores in the country to 61, including 11 concessions.
The retailer’s previous financial year had covered 70 weeks and it adjusted its reporting date.
When taking the adjustments out of the equation, The White Company’s latest profit compares to the £14.4 million that was recorded in the 70-week period ending August 3, 2019.
In addition, group turnover for the 70-week period the year prior came in at £217.4 million.
The White Company said trading was different in the first seven months of its 2020 financial year compared to the rest of the year, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
“Before the pandemic, we experienced similar levels of growth across our store and digital channels, but we were then forced to close our stores in March and unable to reopen them until mid-June,” it said in a statement.
“We were able to continue trading online throughout, and given the strength of consumer demand through our digital channel, we were able to mitigate a large portion of the lost trade from the stores.
“This meant that our overall sales in the final five months of the financial year saw only a slight decline.”
The White Company said lockdowns drove more traffic to digital and it was “able to mitigate a large portion of the lost trade from the stores”, which meant sales in the five-month period of the year when the pandemic hit only saw a slight decline.
The retailer said that despite two additional lockdowns and various other restrictions that have persisted into its current financial year, trading has “been positive, supported by a greater consumer appetite for home and gifting products”.
The White Company added: “We remain cautiously optimistic for the future, especially with stores now reopened, but are conscious of the uncertainties within the retail sector as we transition out of lockdown.”