The Works reported a decline in its profit before tax, despite an increase in its like-for-like sales.

The value retailer reported like-for-like sales growth of 3% for the 52 weeks ending April 28, 2019, which it said was driven both in-store and online.

The Works also posted £2.3m in profit before tax, down from £2.6m the previous year. However, when adjusted to reflect the “full-year impact of the post IPO debt structure”, the adjusted profit before tax was £6.7m, up from £4.2m.

Kevin keaney

Kevin Keaney said the ‘challenging’ retail environment presented opportunities for The Works

Adjusted EBITDA for the period was £13.8m, up 4.2% year on year, while the retailer saw its revenue grow 13.2% to £217.5m.

The Works said it remained in a strong financial position with net cash of £2.9m at the end of the period.

It also opened net 50 new stores during the year, taking its estate to 497, and said it was on track to open another net 50 stores in the current financial year.

The retailer lauded positive growth across its in-store and online channels and said it had refreshed its online customer journey and click-and-collect proposition, which it said drove an “additional half a million customer visits” during the year.

Boss Kevin Keaney said he was happy with how The Works had finished its first 12 months as a listed business.

He said: “In our first year as a listed business, I am pleased that has achieved good growth, underpinned by our clear strategy and a consistent focus on our customers.

“Opening new stores remains our biggest driver of growth and we have taken advantage of the favourable property market by opening a net 50 new stores in the year. We delivered good like-for-like sales across all channels, as our continued focus on product newness and our nimble buying strategy enabled us to anticipate customer demand for current trends and seasonal ranges.

“Our solid performance was also driven by our multichannel proposition, which offers customers even more flexibility and convenience in how they shop. We are particularly pleased with the performance of our click-and-collect service, which remains our fastest-growing channel and resulted in half a million additional customer visits to our stores.”

Keaney flagged that it was a “challenging environment” in retail but said this presented opportunities for the business, particularly with regards to “affordable, good quality retail space”.