• Pre-tax profit fell 12%
  • Sales rose 4.5%
  • 99 new stores opened worldwide


Holland & Barrett posted a fall in profits in preliminary results, as the retailer ploughed investment into its multichannel proposition.

The health specialist – which was snapped up by investment vehicle L1 Retail last month for £1.8bn – reported a 12% fall in pre-tax profits to £112.8m in the year to September 30, 2016, with sales up 4.5% to £444.1m.

The retailer opened 99 new outlets during the period, including 27 UK stores, taking its overall estate to 715 domestic stores and 154 international franchise outlets.

Click-and-collect and in-store ordering capabilities were rolled out across the UK during the period, which contributed to a 10% hike in distribution costs to £163.6m.

Holland & Barrett, which also launched a shop-in-shop partnership with Tesco during the period, said it was “continuing to invest in new technologies to make it a truly omnichannel business”.

The retailer added it was “confident that the current level of performance will be maintained or improved in the future”.

Online sales excluded

Online sales figure for the period were not included in the results, but Retail Week Prospect estimated sales from its ecommerce channel increased 25% to 30%, accounting for approximately 10% of overall sales.

Holland & Barrett said it would focus on expanding its product range in the year ahead in order to “continue to address the broad church of customers who are seeking a healthy lifestyle” and was eyeing bricks-and-mortar expansion, both in the UK and in new international territories.