The Very Group has reported strong annual revenue growth that saw it exceed £2 billion for the first time.
The owner of Littlewoods and Very said it had seen a 65% increase in website visits, leading its full year revenue to surpass £2 billion.
Flagship site Very’s retail sales rose by 28% in the fourth quarter. Very’s retail sales increased by 36% in the same period, due to growth in electrical and home categories of 78% and 53%, resulting in full-year growth of more than 10%.
Although electrical and home categories grew strongly, the group reported a significant decline in fashion, which has relatively higher margin rates, resulting in an overall cash margin at a similar level to the previous year.
The Very Group said it expected to report full year underlying EBITDA to be in the range of £255 million to £270 million, with the board also expecting “positive profit before tax”.
The company highlighted it had not accessed the government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme and government loan schemes.
Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our colleagues, we performed very strongly in Q4 despite the challenges of Covid-19. We prioritised the safety of our people and delivered an uninterrupted service for new and existing customers, who chose us as their preferred shopping destination during lockdown.”
“As in the financial crisis, our business model proved adaptable and resilient in the face of volatile conditions and changing consumer buying patterns. We experienced peak trading levels and recruited unprecedented levels of new customers as our online multicategory model supported by financial services came to the fore.”
“Despite operational challenges caused by Covid, we adapted and pressed on with the migration to our Skygate fulfilment centre [which opened on 23 March], which will create game changing new benefits for our customers and our business.”
“Economic conditions will continue to be challenging, but we believe we are more relevant than ever for customers, who are increasingly buying online. We are well positioned to continue the strong trading into the new financial year and will continue to invest to ensure we are at the forefront of whatever the new normal may be.”
The Very Group will report its results for the year ended 30 June 2020 in mid-September.