The Very Group has secured a £125m funding package as it swings to a half-year loss due to “higher interest costs”.

The Very Group 2023 Christmas trading results

Very UK retail sales grew 1.2% but the group recorded a £2m half-yearly loss

The retailer recorded a loss before tax of £2m in the 26 weeks to December 30, 2023, compared with a profit before tax of £2.1m in the same period the year before. 

The group said that despite “tough conditions in the market”, total revenue increased by 0.6% to £1.2bn year on year, while Very UK saw revenue increase 2.7% to £1.05bn. 

Very UK retail sales increased 1.2%, while group sales decreased by 0.5%. Toys, gifts and beauty grew 4.3% at a group level, group electrical sales increased 2.5% and group fashion and sports declined by 5.9%.

The results arrive as Very announces a new long-term partnership with global investment firm Carlyle and international investment house IMI to “support its growth strategy”.

The partnership means Very will receive a £125m funding package, and Carlyle and IMI will take a seat on The Very Group board.

The group also announced that non-executive chair Dirk Van den Berghe has stepped down after two years in the role, and a search for his replacement is “underway and well advanced”.

As a representaive of the Barclay family, which owns The Very Group, Aidan Barclay will assume the role of non-executive chair until an appointment has been made.

Barclay said: “Carlyle and IMI provide the support of two long-term, experienced institutional sponsors that understand our business extremely well. Their commitment underlines the confidence they have in the group, and their contribution to the board will be invaluable as we look to the future.

“I would like to thank Dirk Van den Berghe for his stewardship during his time as chair and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”