Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hopes for Growth after First Results Are Released; RESULTS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hopes for Growth after First Results Are Released; RESULTS

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

SUNDERLAND-BASED ScS, one of the UK's largest retailers of upholstered furniture and floorings, is anticipating continued growth after the release of its first set of interim results since listing on the London Stock Exchange.

In the 26 weeks ended January 24, 2015, the group saw gross profit rise 13.2% to PS132m, compared to PS115.3m in the same period the previous year, while total sales increased 14.5%.

The group saw its EBITDA loss grow from PS1.3m to PS3m, while operating loss, excluding exceptional items, widened from PS3.4m to PS5.2m.

But chief executive David Knight said this was in line with expectations and reflected a number of factors.

In July 2014, ScS launched 30 House of Fraser concession stores, involving high operating costs with little immediate revenue gains.

The company also invests heavily in the January sales, the expense of which is reflected in the first-half results, while the revenue benefits will not be revealed until the second half.

The results are the first to be published since the IPO of ScS in January, which raised PS35.7m.

Mr Knight said the move had proved "extremely positive", helping with recruitment, consumer confidence and securing prime locations on retail parks.

"We are delighted to be reporting our maiden set of results since listing on the London Stock Exchange," he said. "These results demonstrate the progress that has been made to develop ScS into a strong and resilient business.

"Our sales order intake is our best ever at this time of year and this momentum gives us good visibility for the second half. We are, therefore, confident of meeting market expectations for the full year."

The performance is indicative of continued growth trends at ScS, which sprang up from modest roots when its first store - then Sunderland Suite Centre - was established in 1975. …

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