Retail group Shop Direct, which owns digital department stores Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and VeryExclusive.co.uk, has announced a fourth consecutive year of sales and profit growth.
In its latest financial statement, covering the year leading up to June 30 2016, the business reported pre-tax profits of £150.4m, a 43.6% increase on last year’s results.
Total sales grew 4.3% to £1.86bn from £1.78bn last year, with Very.co.uk leading the way, registering a sales uptick of 15.9% to £1.12bn from £967.8m in 2015.
The strong underlying pre-tax profit increase was driven by 15.9% sales growth at the group’s largest and fastest growing online department store Very.co.uk, which became a £1bn-plus brand for the first time; expansion in mobile transactions, which now make up 62% of online sales; and continued cost discipline across the business.
Mobile transactions grew on last year to 62% of online sales from 56% in 2015, which saw an average of 1.2m site visits per day, an increase of 12%.
The group confirmed it has initiated a £50m financial services personalisation programme in partnership with IBM, to create ‘ground-breaking capabilities’ to give customers financial services products tailored to their specific needs.
Alex Baldock, CEO at Shop Direct, said: “We’re happy to report a fourth consecutive year of sales and profit growth. We’ve stayed focused on our strategy of bringing great products within reach of more people, and it’s working well for us.
“This was the year our investments in technology really started to pay off. We’ve made big strides in m-commerce, big data and personalisation. But there’s a lot more to play for in these areas.
“We continue to gain market share profitably, and are on course for another record year of sales and profit. We’re confident that, if we stay true to our strategy and to what makes us special, we’ll continue to succeed.”