Beauty demand lifts Creightons to offset year-ago hygiene goods success
Having been one of the few pandemic success stories, a year on and Creightons is now having to come to terms with waning demand for its hygiene-based goods, leaving a big hole to fill in its sales column.
But despite having to deal with offsetting the loss of the "one off" £11.54 million in hygiene sales boost a year ago, not to mention ongoing supply chain issues, the health & beauty consumer goods producer is making “excellent progress” in its turnaround efforts. In its trading update the company said it was seeing “strong underlying business momentum” in its half year.
However, the UK-based company saw overall net sales drop by just under £2.4 million year-on-year to £30 million in the six months ending 30 September. Profits as a percentage of revenues were cut to 6.6% as pre-tax profit fell 22% to £2.3 million.
Sales of hygiene goods plunged by around £11.5 million from the same period last year when the pandemic sent demand for staples like hand sanitiser soaring, and the group also benefited from the NHS PPE procurement plan.
Though hygiene brands took a severe jolt, a 40% jump in core sales helped ensure total revenues still came in ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
Creightons credited a robust performance by its Feather & Down and Balance Active labels for bucking its non-hygiene and non-acquisition branded purchases. Here, revenues climbed 47% to just over £8 million.
In addition, it attributed the reopening of high street stores and a significant new contract with a 'key grocer' for its private-label sales increasing by £2.3 million to £13.1 million.
It expects problems deriving from its supply chain to remain into the second half of the year but insisted it would “continue to be proactive in our response to these challenges”.
“In particular, we will seek out new opportunities and endeavour to mitigate any price increases through price recovery, product reengineering, alternative sourcing and other cost control measures,” it said in its latest trading statement.
Creightons also hopes the recent purchases of cruelty-free skincare brand Emma Hardie for £6.4 million and personal care company Brodie & Stone for £4.8 million at the end of September will provide further uplifts.
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