Footasylum records £4m loss as difficult retail environment hits profits

Emily Nicolle
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Footasylum attributed the loss to "higher clearance activity" in stores (Source: Footasylum)

Footwear retailer Footasylum was hit by losses of over £4m in the first half of the year, as the UK's difficult trading environment on the high street took its toll.

The figures

For the 26 week period ending on 25 August 2018, Footasylum reported an adjusted loss before tax of £4m, compared with a profit of £2.3m for the same period in 2017.

However revenue at the company rose to £98.6m, up 19 per cent from £83.2m, with growth reported across all major product categories.

Store revenue rose 12 per cent to £66.3m, while online sales were up 29 per cent to £30.2m and wholesale was up 200 per cent to £2.1m.

The firm opened one new store during the period, taking its total number of stores to 66. Plans to open a further five stores and upsize a total of five stores are scheduled across the rest of the financial year.

Footasylum's share price fell more than eight per cent as markets opened this morning.

Why it's interesting

Footasylum said its profits on the high street were impacted over the period by challenging trading conditions and delays in store openings and upsizes, which is evident in the number of planned openings scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Online sales now account for 31 per cent of its total revenue, which the firm said it is investing heavily in to increase both its talent and technology infrastructure and support future growth.

Analysts at broker Liberum said that while it has been "a tough few months for the group", Footasylum is making positive progress with its new initiatives.

What the company said

Executive chairman Barry Bown said:

"This has been a difficult trading period for Footasylum as we have contended with tough conditions on the high street and some delays in our programme of new store openings and upsizes ahead of the peak trading period.

"While we are pleased to be reporting good top line growth, and a particularly strong year-on-year revenue performance in both online and wholesale, our profitability has been impacted both by a lower overall gross margin from higher clearance activity in stores, as well as the extensive investments that are being made to position the company for future growth.

"We are encouraged by the early results and trends that we are seeing from our investments in key areas such as digital and marketing, and see substantial opportunity for further progress across these and other parts of our operations."

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