Superdrug, the popular British health and beauty retailer, has managed to report a slight increase in sales and profits for the year 2019, despite the challenging retail environment. According to the company’s full-year results, which have been filed at Companies House, their revenue saw a growth of 1.6%, reaching £1.3 billion. This growth can be attributed to a combination of like-for-like sales and the opening of 30 new stores, although the company also had to close down 35 locations. Additionally, Superdrug’s pre-tax profit increased by 1% to £89.4 million.

One area where Superdrug saw notable success was in expanding its market share, especially in the core categories of cosmetics, fragrance, and skincare. The company also experienced consistent growth in its online channel, which can be attributed to the launch of their 30-minute click-and-collect service. Despite these achievements, Superdrug acknowledged that the UK retail environment remained challenging throughout 2019. However, they saw potential opportunities in the growing online beauty market.

In 2019, Superdrug faced various challenges, such as keeping up with rapid technological changes, the surge of value retailing, weak consumer sentiment, and rising labor costs. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit also had an impact on customer demand and the company’s cost base. Nonetheless, these challenges seemed small compared to the ones the company has encountered this year.

Superdrug’s results for the beginning of 2020 reveal the significant impact of the lockdown measures put in place due to the global pandemic. Footfall in their stores declined by up to 75%, resulting in a detrimental effect on their cash flow and profitability. However, their online sales growth has helped to offset some of the losses incurred.

Despite these difficulties, Superdrug managed to implement major cost control measures, allowing them to remain in a strong financial position. This is particularly fortunate considering that the company expects the UK retail environment to remain challenging for the rest of the year. Superdrug’s immediate focus is on preparing for Brexit and navigating the ongoing Covid-19 situation. Nevertheless, they remain confident that they can weather the storm of 2020 and achieve further growth in 2021.

Useful links:
Superdrug official website
Companies House (for access to Superdrug’s full-year results)