May 22, 2023
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Seasalt's accounts show major bounce-back post-pandemic

May 22, 2023

Seasalt Limited, the Cornish fashion and lifestyle brand, has filed its latest accounts and showed ongoing progress in the year to the end of January 2022.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

It’s a little frustrating that we’re only now hearing how it did in period that ended almost 15 months ago. But in the interim we’ve already heard that it had a good Christmas 2022 period with revenues up 15% and in-store sales booming.

So how did it do in what was essentially the second year of the pandemic?

The company said that turnover rose to £96.4 million from £69.7 million a year earlier. Gross profit was up to £51.7 million from £37.8 million and the gross profit margin was stable at 54%.

Operating profit jumped to £5.6 million from £2.8 million. Pre-tax profit was £6.5 million, up from £2.4 million, and net profit was almost £4.7 million, much higher than the prior year's figure of £1.8 million.

The year took in the period when physical stores reopened after the early 2021 lockdown, and the company said it slowly started to recover at that point, with momentum building in most locations towards the summer.

Importantly, by the end of the year, most stores were back at pre-pandemic levels of trade with only the small number of city store location slightly behind the previous benchmarks. That was understandable given that working from home was still the norm at that point and the current recovery in people commuting to their offices hadn't got under way to any large degree. 

In fact, in the year ended January 2022, store revenues were up a massive 200% compared to the previous year, and they were only 15% lower than the year that ended in the January just before the pandemic started. That was even though the company lost 21% of its trading days in the latest year.

The recovery in physical store revenue was combined with continued growth online, which was up 8.2% year-on-year and up a huge 93% on the pre-pandemic year. 

The website continued to benefit from the ability of the company to trade store stock, with approximately 27% of online orders fulfilled from stores. The retailer said this greatly assisted full-price sell-though and end-of-season stock clearance and enhanced its efficiency. 

The net impact of all this, when combined with the recovery in its third-party and wholesale channels, was that aforementioned revenue growth, which the directors said they consider to be “outstanding”. 

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