Outdoor retailer Snow+Rock sales jumped 8% to £71m in its last year as profits remained flat in the face of intense pricing pressure in the sector.
Operating profit for the year to September 2, 2012 hit £3.6m, down £100,000 from the previous year. Snow+Rock faced “fierce competition” because of excess stock in the market following the rescue of Blacks.
The retailer, which also operates Cycle Surgery and Runners Need, said it was “well placed” to grow sales and profits in its current year as it had benefited from a strong ski season over the winter. Cycle Surgery is also receiving a boost from an “unprecedented interest” in cycling in the UK.
Snow+Rock acting chief executive Hamish Mansbridge said: “2011/12 was a difficult year and we were pleased to achieve sales growth in a tough economic environment. The group remains highly profitable, and we are well-placed in good sectors of the market to move forward at a strong pace.”
The retailer, which opened an additional five stores this year, is continuing with its roll out of Runners Need over the year. Mansbridge said it is eyeing expanison for the fascia outside of London.
Runners Need’s store portfolio is currently London centric, with 15 of its 26 stores situated in the capital.
Mansbridge said: “London is becoming quite saturated. There’s a big opportunity outside of London. People are seeing it as a cheap way to do exercise.”
Runners Need would be the retail group’s biggest growth fascia over the next few years, according to Mansbrige. Snow+Rock also operates it eponymous fascia and Cycle Surgery.
The group is set to continue its “significant” investment in ecommerce. Growth accelerated via the channel due to the launch of click-and-collect, mobile, express delivery and in-store delivery. Mansbridge said it is focusing on improving availability of products online in the year ahead.
Mansbridge, formerly chief finance offer at the group, has held the fort at Snow+Rock since chief executive Dion Taylor stood down in December after eight years.
The retailer is currently searching for a replacement for Taylor which it hopes to appoint in the next few months.