Superdrug reports “solid performance” as sales and profits edge up

Healthy and beauty retailer, Superdrug has reported a “solid performance” ahead of the pandemic as revenue rose 1.6% to £1.3 billion.

This was driven by a combination of like-for-like sales and 30 new store openings during the period, despite the retailer closing 35 locations. Pre-tax profit was up 1% to £89.4m.

Superdrug said that its market share continued to grow last year, as well as its core category of cosmetics, fragrance and skincare, despite the challenging and tough trading environment.

The health and beauty retailer also added it experienced “sustained growth” in its online channel, boosted by the launch of a 30-minute click & collect service.

In addition, the company said that in 2019, the rise of technological change and increasing value retailing, as well as weak consumer sentiment and rising labour costs all had an impact on the business.

The delayed conclusion of Brexit also impacted the market both in relation to consumer demand and the company’s wider cost base during the second half.

Superdrug said nearly 70% of its stores remained open during the lockdown due to them selling essential pharmacy items. Although footfall still decreased by up to 75% during the lockdown, “placing significant pressure on the company’s cash flow and profitability.”

However, Superdrug has remained in a “robust” financial position as it implemented major cost control actions.

The healthy and beauty retailer said that it will be placing a major focus on both preparing for the UK’s departure from the EU as well as steering the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, but remains confident that it can “withstand the turbulence of 2020 and deliver further growth in 2021.”