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The Works stays cautious on trading despite delivering ‘strong financial performance’


The Works stays cautious on trading despite 'resilient' sales
Profit before tax hit £10.2m compared with a loss of £2.8m in FY21
// Revenues at The Works rise to £264.6m, up from £180.7m as it delivers a “strong financial performance in FY22” and makes “good strategic progress”
// Trading since the retailer’s update on 8 August 2022 has remained resilient however the outlook for FY23 is unchanged in light of the uncertain economic conditions

The Works has delivered “a strong financial performance” in its latest trading update and said it has “made good strategic progress” as it remains confident despite the more challenging trading conditions expected in the near term as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

The stationary retailer said that all retailers had faced “difficult external conditions over the past year,” noting increased costs and disruption caused by the global supply chain challenges post-Covid.

At the start of the year the retailer was also hit by a cyber security attack but it said that despite the “adverse impacts from these events”, the business was able to deliver a strong trading performance in FY22, which was well ahead of pre-pandemic levels.


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Revenues rose to £264.6m, up from £180.7m, while profit before tax increased to £10.2m, compared to a loss before tax of £2.8m the year prior.

The business also delivered another record Christmas, which is said demonstrated “its resilience in very challenging circumstances.”

Thanks to a positive growth in-stores and online, two-year like-for-like sales rose 10.5%, while two-year total gross sales were up 12.7%

“We are encouraged by the strength of recent trading which reinforces our confidence in the resilience of the business and that the ongoing improvements we are making to our proposition are resonating well with customers,” the business said.

The retailer added that despite the positive recent trading, it will remain cautious with regard to how consumer spending might be affected during the remainder of this
financial year, by factors including higher inflation, and therefore the board’s expectations regarding the FY23 result are unchanged.”

Chief executive Gavin Peck said: “We delivered a strong performance in FY22, with good growth in sales and profits ahead of pre-COVID levels.  This was achieved despite some significant external operational challenges and reflects the ongoing appeal of our proposition, the effective execution of our strategy, a strengthened management team and the collective efforts of our amazing colleagues. We closed the year in a much stronger financial position and will be pleased to recommend to shareholders the payment of a dividend.

“Since our last update in August, our online performance has gradually improved and we continue to be encouraged by store sales, which comprise the significant majority of our revenue and have delivered positive LFL sales growth since June. This has all been supported by the ongoing evolution of our proposition, including a strong performance of our improved ‘Back to School’ range.

“We have also had significant growth in our books category, driven by our increased representation of front-list authors including Julia Donaldson and Richard Osman. We are well-placed operationally for Christmas and are gearing up to deliver for our customers, maintaining our commitment to provide them with the products they love at fantastic value.

“The Works is a resilient business with a proven track record of delivering robust results during times of economic hardship, however, given current conditions, we maintain our cautious view of the year ahead. We remain confident in our ability to continue making good strategic progress and to deliver growth in the medium-term.”

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