Sosandar shares jump on positive trading update

Sosandar
Julie Lavington and Ali Hall

Shares in online women’s fashion brand Sosandar jumped 25% today to 20p per share on the back of a positive trading update in which it said it expected to report a 53% increase in revenue to £2.82 million in the six months to 30 September.

Sosandar reported that sales in Q2 were up 84% and September was up 112% against the same periods in the prior year. It also said that October was the first month that net revenues (post returns) exceeded £1m.

Via an over-subscribed share placing in July the company raised £7m and has embarked on an ambitious customer acquisition strategy, screening its first regional TV ads in September, and has invested in widening its product range.

Given the success, the board of the company, which was established by former fashion media experts Ali Hall and Julie Lavington, said it had decided to invest further in TV advertising. As such its marketing spend this year will be higher than last.

Average order values had decreased slightly as a result of the widening of the product range as it saw more orders for categories such as jersey and denim. However it said, customers have begun to place repeat orders more frequently, while the returns rate has reduced to 49%, from 52% in the prior year.

Ali Hall and Julie Lavington, Joint CEOs, commented: “Our ability as an online retailer to employ an agile strategy resulted in us focusing our customer acquisition activity on the important Autumn months towards the end of the period and carrying into current trading. As expected, the accelerated investment into marketing and product is producing strong results with record months in September and October.

“We are seeing strong engagement from our ever-expanding base of loyal existing customers and this will continue to increase as our product range grows further. We are delighted with the success of our new advertising activity and the Board is confident that accelerating our future growth by increased investment in marketing (especially via TV) in this financial year is the right decision for our business.

“With a widened product range offering, strong balance sheet, and a broadened, aggressive, and increasingly effective marketing strategy, we are confident about the full year.”

Hall and Lavington have used their media expertise to drive a celebrity following for the brand among 30- and 40-something celebrities and the brand has recently received support from Amanda Holden and Mel B.

Sosandar was founded in September 2016 and was listed on AIM in November 2017.