Sosandar shines after year of gains, ready for a "busy summer"
So many good things to report from online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar's yearly results on Tuesday morning. Where to start...
OK, a strong year of revenue growth was capped by it accelerating every month in Q4 and there was a “substantial” improvement in year-on-year core earnings.
On a bedrock of improving visibility, Sosandar said it was “very well positioned to accelerate its growth trajectory and further improve EBITDA”.
But most telling was, with the “loosening of restrictions laid out”, the retailer said it has seen early signs that customers are preparing their wardrobes “for a busy summer”. Music to a retailer’s ears.
“This includes an increase in the sales across all key categories, in particular colourful dresses, tops and denim”.
And now to the figures. In its trading update for the financial year ended 31 March, it delivered another strong performance in its fourth quarter with revenue up 63% year-on-year to £3.94m.
For good measure, Sosandar now expects to report year-end revenue of £12.2m, up 35% year-on-year.
It also recorded strong sales via John Lewis and Next, “with March being a new record month and a significant step up on the previous best, and the product range continuing to develop and expand”.
For good measure, there was also a “successful launch” with Marks & Spencer as a third-party online retailer at the end of March “with excellent initial sales”.
Throughout the year the company also continued to invest and expand the product range, “a key factor in its strong trading performance”. Loungewear, knitwear, denim and outerwear “all performed particularly well”, it said.
Order numbers across the 12 months increased 29% to 276,000, repeat orders increased 40% to 190,000, and conversion rate increased from 2.7% to 3.1%.
Meanwhile, there was a continued improvement in the returns rate, reduced to 43% from 50% in the prior year, “reflecting a diversification of product mix”.
It noted that customer activity also stepped up each month during the final quarter with record revenue delivered in March, up 66% compared to January, and 163% up on the lockdown-impacted previous year.
“This performance reflects an increasing level of consumer optimism as lockdown restrictions start to lift”, it noted.
Gross margin also showed continual improvement throughout the fourth quarter with March at 54%. However, the overall gross margin did inch down to 48.1% from 48.5% in the prior year, “reflecting promotional activity during the period of lockdowns”.
Meanwhile, EBITDA loss reduced by over 60%,it said, although no figure was given on the size of that loss.
The company said: “The Sosandar brand has also shown its desirability in having been chosen to appear on the platforms of three major British retailers. The company sees many opportunities for growth both on its own site and with its retail partners in the coming months and beyond”.
Ali Hall and Julie Lavington, Co-CEOs, added: "The progress we are making reflects the scale of our opportunity and growing demand for our unique offering in the market. The recent purchasing trends that we have seen from our customers point to a period of increased activity and we believe that our extensive product range can cater to their needs”.
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