The Works announces 2012 performance and highlights

The Works, the discount retailer, has announced significant growth in online sales and strong performance in a number of key categories in its 2012 financial year, ending April 2013. The company delivered total sales of £134m in 2012, up from £132.5m in 2011, with growth driven by online sales and new stores. Like-for-like sales for the year were flat.

Performance highlights in 2012 included:

  • 13 new branches added to The Works portfolio of more than 300 stores  across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Like-for-like e-commerce sales up 314 per cent following significant investment in the online platform
  • 25 million books sold
  • Standout like-for-like growth in non-book categories, including crafts at +20 per cent, arts materials at +10.5 per cent and  games at +18 per cent
  • Significant like-for-like growth in key book genres, and continued growth in children’s books at +3 per cent
  • Total EBITDA of £5.6 million, with other capital invested back into the business in the form of e-commerce platform development and expansion, investment into opening new stores, and upgrading the existing store estate

Kevin Keaney, The Works CEO, said:  “We are pleased with our 2012 performance, especially given that this was a very tough period for much of the retail sector.  

“The stand-out growth across both book and non-book categories demonstrates that our strategy of moving into related product ranges, while maintaining our focus on bargain books, is paying off.  We will develop this strategy further in 2013, expanding the range and prominence in-store of important growth categories such as arts & crafts, and growing our book selection in popular areas such as children’s, hobbies and entertainment.

“Strengthening our e-commerce site has also paid off for us in terms of sales and customer reach. In 2013, we’ll continue to expand our online presence, while also looking for opportunities to develop this into a true multichannel offering.

“This year will also see us look further at customers’ in-store experience, with a focus on creating a fun environment whilst still emphasising our great value.  The economic environment remains challenging, but our strategy stands us in good stead to continue to grow The Works’ business.”

Anthony Solomon, The Works Chairman, said:  “The Works remains a highly profitable, growth business.  The business has a very strong balance sheet and very little debt, giving us an excellent financial platform on which to capitalise on the significant opportunity that we see both on the high street and online. 

“We still love books and The Works is one of a kind; the only retail chain to offer a wide selection of heavily discounted books and arts & crafts products on the high street.  That gives us a real opportunity to continue to fill the gap for savvy shoppers who want a convenient, fun place to spend on family activities without stretching their wallet too far.”

The Works has delivered a five-year period of sustained success and expansion since it was acquired by retail entrepreneur, Anthony Solomon, and private equity firm, Endless LLP.

The Works 2012 financial year reflects the period May 1st 2012 – April 30th 2013.