Sosandar revenue up 72% in first half of year

Alison Hall and Julie Lavington

Sosandar plc, the Wilmslow-based fashion firm run by former magazine publishers Alison Hall and Julie Lavington, said its revenue increased 72% to £21 million in the six months to September 30.

The firm reported a first-half profit before tax of £100,000, a substantial positive swing compared to a loss of £1.1 million in the first half of FY22, “being the second six-month period of positive PBT following H2 FY22.”

Sosandar said momentum has continued into the second half of its financial year “with record sales months in October and November, trading in line with market expectations for the full financial year.”

Sosandar believes that market expectations for the year ending March 31, 2023, are currently revenue of £42.8 million and profit before tax of £2 million.

The company sells through Sosandar.com and has brand partnerships in place with Next, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, The Very Group and N Brown.

Sosandar Co-CEOs Hall and Lavington wrote: “We are very pleased to be reporting a strong performance for the six months ended 30 September 2022, with trading in line with our expectations for full year growth.

“Our continued revenue growth has enabled us to reach a significant milestone in delivering another six months of profitability, achieving a substantial swing from a loss of £1.1m in the same period last year to a profit before tax of £0.1m for the current period.

“This performance is a testament to the relevance of our strategy, unique and broad product offering and ever-increasing brand awareness, which has enabled us to continue to deliver for our customers, despite the challenging macroeconomic backdrop.

“Second half trading to date has built on the momentum we saw in the first half.

“Pleasingly, throughout October and November we delivered two record months of sales with this culminating in an extremely successful Black Friday period which saw a record number of visits to Sosandar.com and the strongest sales week on record for our third party partners, with margins increasing compared with the first half of the financial year.

“In addition, whilst discounts were on offer, gross margins remained stable resulting in two further months of profitability.

“Looking ahead, whilst the external environment remains challenging, it is important to note that as a business, we have successfully mitigated many of the headwinds we have faced over the past two years.

“We have a brilliant brand, highly differentiated product that is in demand across all our channels and a great team who constantly execute our strategy well.

“We continue to trade in line with market expectations for the full year and remain confident in the longer-term outlook for the business.”

REACTION: 

Russell Pointon, director of consumer at investment research firm Edison Group: “This is yet another strong set of results for Sosandar, which has built up strong momentum over the last six months despite difficult trading conditions, with growth across all of its key metrics.

“The company recorded strong revenue growth of 72%, producing its second six-month period of positive profit before tax.

“In October and November, the company saw a record number of visits to its website and the Black Friday week saw the strongest sales week on record for third part partners.

“This can partially be attributed to the success of its Black Friday sales, but also to the company’s broad product offering and increasing brand awareness. A number of other companies have also reported improved trading through Black the Friday week.

“Whilst larger fashion companies such as ASOS and Boohoo have struggled this year in the face of difficult macroeconomic conditions, Sosandar has been able to navigate these headwinds and deliver sustainable growth throughout 2022.

“Whilst the industry’s outlook remains largely unchanged going into 2023, these results demonstrate that Sosandar is in a good position to continue to navigate change within the industry whilst building on its growing customer base.

“Management expects a significant improvement in profit in H223.”