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Superdrug annual sales rise despite inflationary pressures

Sophie Smith
12 July 2023

Superdrug has reported its financial results for the 52 weeks ending 31 December 2022, highlighting its continued recovery from the effects of COVID-19 despite inflationary pressures adding new challenges. 

The health and beauty retailer saw sales increase 17% to £1.4 billion, compared to £1.2 million the previous year. This was boosted by "strong" Christmas trading at the end of the financial period.

Profit before tax was up 71.7% to £77.8 million, driven by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent increase in footfall on the high street.

However, Superdrug said inflationary pressures were "increasingly evident" as the year progressed, with the Ukraine crisis named as one of the major factors contributing to concerns about the growing cost-of-living crisis in the UK.

The financial year saw the retailer refurbish and extend a number of existing shops. It also opened 11 new stores, primarily located at retail parks - a segment that "continues to perform ahead of expectations".

In addition, Superdrug re-platformed its online operations as a "central pillar of its omnichannel approach". Whilst the return to physical stores impacted e-commerce, sales volumes online continued to track “significantly ahead" of pre-pandemic levels.

The retailer's Health & Beauty Card customer loyalty programme remained "pivotal" to its engagement with customers. Sales from members increased, supported by the introduction of "member only" prices.

Superdrug's own-brand offering continued to perform well, whilst 2022 also saw the successful launch of premium fragrance.

Read's interview with Superdrug's Head of Own Brand, Emma Monaghan.

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