ProCook losses have improved, but the retailer is still in the red despite outperforming the market over Black Friday and the early part of Christmas trading.

ProCook Tottenham Court Rd

The ProCook store and cookery school on Tottenham Court Road is helping drive strong results

For the 28 weeks ending October 15, 2023, the cookware retailer reported a £1.7m underlying loss before tax – an improvement on the £2.8m it reported in the first half of last year.

Sales for the period also slipped 3.8% to £26.3m, although gross profits rose by 5.4% to £17.6m.

Like-for-like revenue declined 4.4% year-on-year after what ProCook described as a “volatile first half in difficult trading conditions and impacted by teething issues following the launch of our new website.”

The retailer hailed the “good strategic progress” it made in the year, including the opening of two new stores and one upsized location, the launch of its new transactional website and its transition into its new “store support centre” delivering operational efficiencies.

ProCook said in the first eight weeks of the second half of the year, including Black Friday and the early part of Christmas trading, total revenues were up 1.5% year-on-year “outperforming the market”.

Sales growth over Black Friday was up 3.5%, while retail stores continued to perform well over the year – with like-for-like sales up 4.1% and total revenues up 10.7% year on year.

Cautious optimism

However, ProCook said trading conditions remain “challenging and volatile” and the board “remains cautious about the timing and pace of market recovery”.

Chief executive Lee Tappenden said: “While the consumer macro backdrop remains challenging, we are pleased to have delivered a robust Black Friday campaign and an improvement in recent trading, as we enter the important pre-Christmas trading period.

“I am delighted to have joined the business, with its strong foundations as a specialist retailer with a differentiated model and high-quality products providing a firm base from which to build brand awareness and expand the product range and store portfolio,” he said.

Tappenden concluded: “While we remain cautious about the timing and pace of market recovery, we are confident in our proposition and are making good strategic progress in building a stronger customer-focused business ready to accelerate growth as trading conditions improve and deliver profitable and sustainable growth for all stakeholders.”