For the 13 weeks ended 1 October 2022, The Very Group saw total revenues drop by 3% to GBP469.4m (US$562.93m) from GBP484.1m a year earlier.
Despite the drop, the company said it was a “robust performance against the challenges faced by the online non-food market”. Within this, Very UK revenue fell by 2.1% to GBP408.2m compared with the prior year. The UK online non-food retail market declined 3.8% over same period.
The group, which owns the Very and Littlewoods brands, saw group retail sales decrease by 6.7% and Very UK retail sales decline by 5.1% compared with last year, which The Very Group said was expected and is a “resilient result in the context of the challenging retail market”.
At a group level, fashion & sports retail sales declined by 9.6% and were down 8.1% at Very. This was driven by a reduction in sportswear in particular, while fashion alone was stable, the retailer said.
Pre-tax profit, meanwhile, dropped to GBP2.2m from GBP7.2m restated in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA came in at GBP58.2m, down from GBP65.6m a year earlier.
In its trading statement, The Very Group said: “As we continue to move through the economic headwinds and industry challenges that began in FY22, our business has continued to show its resilience in the face of difficult conditions.
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“Despite the adverse economic environment, our business has delivered profitability and earnings, with positive pre-exceptional EBITDA.”
In the quarter, the company noted exceptional costs of GBP8.9m, reflecting spend on its tech acceleration programme. In addition, costs were incurred as part of refinancing a GBP550m bond with a new GBP575m bond and GBP4.3m in relation to its tech transformation programme.