The Works lifts sales but takes profit hit

The Works lifts sales but takes profit hit

The Works has achieved a like-for-like sales increase of 3% year-on-year on books in the year to April 2013 but its overall profits have fallen by 25.3% to £5.6m.

The company racked up total sales of £134m, up 1.1% from last year. But profits were hit after investments in a new e-commerce platform, revamping shops and opening new outlets, The Works said.

The retailer has significantly grown sales on its e-commerce platform – by 314% year-on-year. It has seen greater sales in non-book products such as crafts and games then it has on books, with crafts up 20%, arts materials up 10.5% and  games up 18%. Having said that, altogether The Works sold 25m books throughout the year.

The Works c.e.o Kevin Keaney, said: “We are pleased with our 2012 performance, especially given that this was a very tough period for much of the retail sector. The stand-out growth across both book and non-book categories demonstrates that our strategy of moving into related product ranges, while maintaining our focus on bargain books, is paying off.  We will develop this strategy further in 2013, expanding the range and prominence in-store of important growth categories such as arts & crafts, and growing our book selection in popular areas such as children’s, hobbies and entertainment."
He added: “Strengthening our e-commerce site has also paid off for us in terms of sales and customer reach. In 2013, we’ll continue to expand our online presence, while also looking for opportunities to develop this into a true multichannel offering.”

The retailer also plans to launch a loyalty card called "Together" in time for Christmas, with customers able to accrue points with every pound spent.

Keaney added: “This year will also see us look further at customers’ in-store experience, with a focus on creating a fun environment whilst still emphasising our great value.  The economic environment remains challenging, but our strategy stands us in good stead to continue to grow The Works’ business.”

The company is owned by private equity firm Endless and investor and chairman Anthony Solomon.