Endless-backed The Works hails most profitable year in its history

Discount retailer The Works, which is backed by Leeds-based turnaround investor Endless, is in bullish mood after posting record profits.

The Sutton Coldfield-based business was acquired by Endless in 2008 and went on to become the majority shareholder in 2015 after taking the stake of executive chairman Anthony Solomon, who stepped down from the role after seven years.

In latest documents filed at Companies House for the 53 weeks ended May 1 2016, The Works Investments Ltd said that during the year, it delivered more than £1m of cost efficiency savings which, combined with strong sales growth, helped deliver the “most profitable year in The Works history.”

Full year EBITDA came in at £12.7m from £9.5m in 2015 – a 37% increase year on year.

The company grew sales to £154.4m from £117.2m the year before. On an equivalent full year basis (2015 being a 41 week financial year) this was a 9% growth on the previous year, which it attributed to a strong performance in key product categories, the accelerated roll out of new stores and the continued growth of the online business.

In the period, The Works opened 40 stores, developed a click and collect proposition and refreshed/rebranded its existing store estate.

The Works said it plans to open at least 50 stores this year.

The company also hailed the success of its loyalty scheme ‘Together’, a first in the discount sector, which now boasts more than 75,000 members.

The Works management team was also boosted with the arrival of Card Factory founder Dean Hoyle as chairman in September 2015. The role is the first major retail industry position for Mr Hoyle since the sale of Card Factory to Charterhouse Capital in 2010.

The board praised Mr Hoyle’s “vast wealth of knowledge and frontline leadership experience” in the value sector, which it said would prove “invaluable” to The Works as it goes through a period of rapid expansion.

Looking ahead, the business stated that the “fundamental principles” that have driven the strong profit growth over the last three years, such as proactive management of its property portfolio with zero loss making stores, strong cost controls and simple operating processes, will remain “cornerstones” of the business going forward.