PrettyLittleThing has reported broadly flat sales in its most recent full-year as subdued consumer demand persisted outside of the UK and US.
The Manchester-based fast fashion retailer made revenue of 712.3 million pounds in the 12 months to February 28, up 0.3 percent from the previous year.
Breaking it down by geography, the e-tailer hailed “resilient” sales in the UK and US against a strong prior year when lockdowns saw consumers flock to online channels for fashion purchases, and despite returns rates in the second half of the year hitting pre-Covid 19 levels.
Sales were up 6.4 percent to 391.8 million pounds in the UK, while sales in the US edged 0.1 percent higher to 210.1 million pounds.
It was a less pretty picture in the rest of Europe and the rest of the world, however, where sales dropped by 13.8 percent and 21.3 percent, respectively. The company said both regions were impacted by subdued consumer demand following the end of lockdown restrictions, as well as increasing returns rates.
Drop in profit
“We continue to refine the mix of marketing expenditure and price and delivery promotions to optimise profitability and sales growth,” the company said.
PrettyLittleThing's pretax profit narrowed to 75.1 million pounds from 99 million pounds a year earlier, which was impacted by 11.6 million pounds of exceptional costs linked to the automation of its Sheffield warehouse.
Profit for the year fell to 55.2 million pounds from 78 million pounds.
“As lockdown restrictions have eased we have continued to see good levels of demand with a shift in consumer demand back into more going out fashion, compared with more casual products purchased during lockdown,” the company said.
“While demand has remained strong we have also seen an increase in returns levels back to pre-pandemic levels,” it added.
Looking forward, the company said its strategy will be to “use a combination of marketing to drive new customer acquisition and promotions to secure sales, all the while supported by the most convenient delivery and return options and high level of customer service”.
It continued: “We will continue to broaden the range of products and to refine the online shopping experience with the latest technologies to ensure we provide the most user-friendly website possible.”