Go Outdoors, the JD Sports-owned outdoor lifestyle brand, reported its results for the year to the end of January, and it was clearly a tough 12 months as profits fell due to higher costs.
The company, whose full name is Go Outdoors Retail Limited, posted pre-tax profits of £13.1m, well below the £21.5m a year earlier. He said property, utility and freight costs had “increased disproportionately” during the period.
It also experienced higher staff costs as it increased the national living wage and opened new stores, which meant it hired more staff. The company had operated 68 stores in the UK in the previous period, but during the year it reached 86.
Its pre-tax profit fell even though turnover rose from £316.3m to £338.2m and gross profit rose to £140.4m from £135.7m. Operating profit was £10.1 million, up from £21.5 million the previous year. And net profit for the period fell to £11.1m from £17.2m.
The company said the increase in turnover was mainly due to the fact that its stores were able to operate normally without pandemic restrictions throughout the period. It also introduced a new retail brand during the 12 months, called Go Outdoors Express, although it only launched in late November 2022 with 12 smaller high street stores. However, this is an important development as it exposes the brand to a new group of high street consumers, rather than the out-of-town retail park consumers that many of its usual stores reach.
The company also invested in a new flagship concept at six locations, one of which is brand new and the other five are relocations or remodels. He said the concept has been marketed “exceptionally well.”
But it added that during the financial year there was a contraction of its online market, and although electronic sales were above pre-pandemic levels, that contraction partially offset the strong sales performance in its physical locations.
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