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Superdrug reports strong sales and profit growth amid high street expansion

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Superdrug added 14 outlets last year and plans to open an additional 25 new high street stores this year

The renowned health and beauty chain has announced impressive annual sales and profit figures, following the expansion of its British high street estate.

According to a report by The Times, Superdrug’s pre-tax profits jumped by 43.6 per cent to £111.6 million in the year ending December 2023 compared to the previous year.

The company’s revenue also experienced significant growth, rising by 11.8 per cent to reach £1.52 billion, marking its third consecutive year of market share growth.

Key factors driving this growth include the opening of 14 new stores across strategic locations such as The Trafford Centre in Manchester and Brent Cross shopping centre in north London, and the refitting of 45 stores last year.

Additionally, the continued expansion of its cheaper, own-label products, along with exclusive launches from brands like Bioré SPF, Nyx X Barbie, and Billie Eilish fragrances, significantly contributed to a 4.2 per cent year-on-year increase in Superdrug’s sales volume.

Founded in 1964, Superdrug is owned by AS Watson Holdings, headquartered in Hong Kong. With 784 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland, it remains the second largest beauty retailer on the high street, trailing behind Boots.

Peter Macnab, chief executive of Superdrug, told The Times that the company has made significant investments to keep their prices competitive as inflation continues to put pressure on households.

However, the group expects that the UK retail environment will remain “challenging and strongly competitive” in 2024, with a heavy focus on price.

Nevertheless, the company remains optimistic about its growth prospects, believing that the right retail proposition and customer service will drive success.

Superdrug has already announced its plan to launch 25 new stores this year as it celebrates its 60th year on the British high street. The opening of these new stores is anticipated to generate over 500 jobs nationwide.

In May, the retailer confirmed the locations for four upcoming stores – Wheatley Centre Shopping Parkin Doncaster, St David’s Centre in Cardiff, Bluewater Shopping Centre and Westfield Stratford City.

Additionally, there are plans to expand seven existing branches and refit another 60 throughout 2024.

Currently, Superdrug operates over 830 stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, including 200 in-store pharmacies. With these new openings, the total number of brick-and-mortar stores will exceed 850.

Rival Boots also reported robust a surge in pre-tax profits for its latest financial year.

It reported a 5.9 per cent increase in retail sales for the three months ending on February 29, 2024, marking its twelfth consecutive quarter of growth in retail market share.

Significant growth was seen across digital platforms, including Boots.com and the Boots app, with digital sales surging by 16.8 per cent, largely due to “strong sales of beauty and personal care products.”

In-store sales also showed steady growth, rising by 4.5 per cent, with flagship, shopping center, and travel stores performing particularly well.

Boots, part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, operates a network of more than 2,100 stores across the UK, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores, and employs over 52,000 team members nationwide.

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