Superdrug, the health & beauty retailer, has released its financial results for the 53-week period ending on January 1, 2022. The company faced a tough year, starting with a lockdown that lasted for several months. As a result, its revenue dropped by a staggering 29% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2020. However, the second quarter showed signs of recovery as lockdown restrictions were lifted, although the emergence of the Omicron variant had an impact on the company’s performance in the final month of the year.

Despite the challenges faced, Superdrug managed to achieve an overall revenue increase of 5.1%, reaching £1.168 billion. It is important to note that this growth includes an extra week, as the previous year had only 52 weeks. Furthermore, the company saw a significant rise in profit before tax, which surged by 141.3% to £45.3 million. The relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and an increase in footfall at physical stores contributed to this boost in profit and revenue. Additionally, the previous year’s figures included an impairment provision of £10.7 million, which was not present in the current year’s results. The operating margin also improved, rising to 5.1% compared to 3.2% in the previous year.

Despite the challenging year for brick-and-mortar stores, Superdrug experienced growth in its online channel. Online sales saw a notable increase of 48.5% compared to 2019 (though the comparison to 2020 was not specified). The company’s Health & Beautycard, a customer loyalty program with 15.9 million members, played a vital role in engaging with customers. Sales from Health & Beautycard members increased during the year. Superdrug also witnessed a rise in the proportion of sales made up of its own-brand products or exclusive chain products.

Although the pandemic and changing consumer behaviors presented significant obstacles, Superdrug managed to achieve growth in both revenue and profit. The company’s ability to adapt to evolving circumstances and utilize its online channel and customer loyalty program were key factors in its success. Moving forward, Superdrug is expected to navigate the challenges and opportunities that arise from the ever-changing retail landscape, ensuring it continues to meet customer needs and maintain its position in the market.

Useful links:
1. Superdrug’s official website
2. Retail Gazette – News on the retail industry