York’s Gear4music sees profit soar 488%

Shares of York-based Gear4music (Holdings) plc, the largest UK based online retailer of musical instruments and music equipment, rose as much as 5% on Tuesday after it said its net profit soared 488% to £12.6 million on revenue up 31% to £157.5 million in the year to March 31, 2021.

The firm’s active customers rose 32% to 1.06 million.

Gear4music said trading in April and May 2021 was stronger than expectations and that “financial results for FY22 are likely to be ahead of the board’s previous expectations.”

Sales of musical equipment soared during lockdown. Shares of Gear4music have risen more than 200% over the past 12 months to give it a current stock market value of around £200 million.

On dividends, Gear4music said: “The board is confident in the prospects for the business and recognises the importance of retaining cash reserves to support future growth, and as such the board does not consider it appropriate to declare a dividend at this time but will continue to review this position on an annual basis.”

Gear4music CEO Andrew Wass said: “FY21 has been a transformational year for the group, during which we have delivered an exceptional financial performance whilst rising to the unprecedented operational challenges presented by COVID-19 and Brexit.

“As previously reported, we had an exceptional period of trading during FY21, particularly during the initial COVID-19 lockdown in Q1.

“The number of potential customers in our market significantly increased, as traditional high street retailers were unable to operate as normal and people sought activities in which to participate whilst spending more time at home.

“The group is in a strong position to build upon the significant success of FY21, as we accelerate the development of our bespoke e-commerce platform and strengthen our European distribution network by launching new operational hubs in Ireland and Spain.

“As recently reported, we have started to consider acquisition opportunities, and we are very pleased to have recently acquired two brands that will become part of the Gear4music own-brand portfolio: Premier, a Drums and Percussion brand with a rich musical heritage dating back to 1922, and Eden, a bass guitar amplification brand previously owned by Marshall Amplification.

“Given that the FY21 exceptional financial performance was driven by the initial COVID-19 lockdowns during H1, the board does not expect to meet the same level of trading during H1 FY22, and as previously guided, does not currently expect to achieve the same level of full year profitability during FY22 that the group achieved during FY21.

“However, trading in Q1 FY22 has been stronger than the board previously expected and, having retained a good proportion of the gross margin gain achieved during FY21, financial results for FY22 are likely to be ahead of the board’s previous expectations.

“The outlook and general demand for musical instruments and equipment remains positive, and with the strategies and actions we are taking, we remain confident of delivering sustainable and profitable growth in the long-term.”