Superdrug profits slide despite “essential” retailer status

Superdrug profits slide despite
// Superdrug full year pre-tax profits for 2020 plunges 80% to just £18.8m despite “essential” retailer status
// Full-year sales were down 15% to £1.1bn, including a 40% fall in the second quarter of 2020
// There was a 106% growth in online orders but with customers staying indoors, there was a hit to the beauty business

Superdrug has seen full year profits plunge nearly 80 per cent despite remaining open as an essential retailer throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to accounts filed at Companies House, the health and beauty retailer said pre-tax profits for the fiscal year ending December 26, 2020, were just £18.8 million – compared with £89.4 million in 2019.

Full-year sales were down 15 per cent to £1.1 billion, including a 40 per cent fall in the second quarter of 2020 when the pandemic first hit and the first lockdown was implemented.

READ MORE: Superdrug launches first ever Corporate Social Responsibility report

“2020 was an unprecedented and tough year for many high street retailers and of course we see the severe impact of the pandemic reflected in annual results across the high street,” chief executive Peter Macnab said.

“As an essential retailer, the most important thing is that our 788 stores were able to stay open to serve and support our colleagues, customers and communities through the pandemic.”

McNab added that Superdrug’s online pharmacy grew 132 per cent during the year and 100,000 people were vaccinated in stores in the first half of the current fiscal year.

There was also a 106 per cent growth in online orders although with customers staying indoors, there was a hit to the retailer’s beauty business – particularly during the run-up to Christmas when restrictions were still in place.

“To weather the storm and safeguard the future of the business, we have taken several proactive steps to ensure we are able to emerge strong from the pandemic,” McNab said.

“At a time when accessible retail has never been more important, the strength of our healthcare offering, coupled with our up-to-the minute beauty business, means that we are confident we remain the number one choice for our customers.”

He hopes to win back business with more store “experiences” by expanding its beauty studios and 15 new stores later this year.

with PA Wires

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