Shares of Sunderland-based furniture and floorings retailer ScS Group rose about 5% on Wednesday after it published a trading update showing gross sales in the 26 weeks to January 23, 2021, increased 13.9% to £182.3 million.
“This increase is due to the significant order intake growth seen in June and July 2020 following the first lockdown, together with the strong trading in the first quarter of the current financial year,” said ScS.
“Unlike the first national lockdown, and in line with government guidelines, our distribution centres have remained operational throughout the period and continue to deliver goods to our customers.
“As at 23 January 2021, the group’s order book is £90.5m (including VAT), £16.8m larger than at the same point in the prior year.
“The group had a positive start to the year, seeing order intake growth over the first 21 weeks despite the impact of further temporary regional and national store closures across the UK, as a result of COVID-19.”
In its outlook, ScS said: “Whilst it is too early to provide clarity on the outlook for the weeks and months ahead, we remain cautiously optimistic given the strong trading experienced by the group following the first and second lockdowns.
“Given the tactile nature of our products, the majority of customers chose to wait until stores re-opened to try our products in person before making their purchasing decision.
“This resulted in the business benefiting from pent-up demand, coupled with an increased level of investment by UK consumers in their homes.
“The group has built a robust balance sheet and continues to focus on cost and cash management to ensure we maintain this resilience in these challenging times.
“As previously announced, Steve Carson joined the group on the 6 January 2021.
“Steve will lead ScS as CEO following David Knight’s planned retirement in July 2021.
“The handover process has commenced and is progressing well.”