Leading European health food retailer Holland & Barrett saw group revenues rise 7.1% to reach £ £702.5 million, for the year ending 30 September 2018.
Commenting on preliminary financial results for the period, John Walden, H&B’s newly appointed chairman (formerly boss at consumer goods retailer Argos and DIY chain Homebase), commented: “Holland & Barrett delivered a strong financial performance in 2018 with positive revenue, like for like sales and EBITDA growth, underpinned by significant growth in digital revenues. These results are particularly favourable against a backdrop of challenging and rapidly changing retail markets. As the newly appointed chairman, I am looking forward to working with the talented Holland & Barrett team and developing an ambitious strategic plan – to build digital leadership and a global platform for delivering the most trusted, ethical health and wellness products and services.”
· Group revenues increased 7.1% to £702.5m
· Group like-for-like sales increased 3.9% (38th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth)
· Group digital sales grew 32.2% with digital participation of 10.1%
· Group Operating Profit (EBITDA) increased 1.3% to £152.1m
· Multiple hires for the H&B leadership team
· Continued innovation including the launch of Healthbox subscription service, and new product development which comprised 8% of Group revenues
· Strong performance in several key categories with Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements (VMHS) in the UK and Ireland growing 15.3% and Clean Beauty growing 10.2%
· 66 new stores globally, including 15 new concession models within Tesco stores in the UK and Ireland
· Continued development of Holland & Barrett internationally, with revenue growing 9.3%
· Successful transition of ownership to L1 Retail
Chief executive, Peter Aldis, commented: “I am pleased by the strong performance in the business this year. We have just completed our 38th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth, which is a milestone achievement we are very proud of. I am delighted that we have managed to attract a number of strong hires to the Executive Board over the last 12 months and am pleased by how well the team has come together in a short space of time. Looking forward under our new owners, I am confident that we are well positioned to drive transformation in the face of digital disruption. We expect that 2019 will also be a year of continued investment in the business to provide our customers with the most trusted and innovative range of health and wellness solutions.”
Holland & Barrett now operate 1,077 stores in 5 countries including 830 stores and concessions in the UK and Ireland, and 247 stores internationally in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. Holland & Barrett also has over 400 franchised locations in 11 countries.
International revenue now accounts for 20% of Holland & Barrett revenues. In its owned markets, the company saw continued growth across each of its businesses in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. Netherlands is the largest and most profitable of Holland & Barrett’s international markets, but also remains one of the most competitive. During the year Holland & Barrett acquired Halsa for Alla Sverige in Sweden, which provides a platform for further growth in the Scandinavian region.