Online sales now more than half of Science in Sport trade

Science in Sport has this morning issued a half year trading update within which online sales drove the sports nutrition giant to a like-for-like 24% revenue increase, reaching £29.3 million.

The firm’s steady turnaround from loss to profitability has continued to build momentum with underlying EBDTA profit growing to £0.6 million, versus a loss of £0.2 million in H1, 2020. This figure was achieved despite what the firm described as a “one-off £0.6m negative impact from Brexit.”

Gross margin increased to 52%  (H1 2020: 48%), driven by supply chain efficiencies and continued sales shift to online. These sales led the charge for the business, recording a 44% growth like-for-like to reach £15.7 million.

Online sales via the Group’s own digital platforms were up by 35% and via third-party marketplace sites up by 53%. In total, online sales now make up 54% of trade for the nutrition label. This morning’s RNS says that the group will continue to place heavy investment into developing this channel further.

Despite the online retail progress, retail sales did rebuild on lost momentum from the pandemic, adding 8% to be worth £8.4 million. International retail sales at £5.2m were 6% ahead (H1 2020: £4.9m).  These results were after exiting over 60 sub-scale accounts in late 2020, as part of a refocusing on key accounts in scale markets.

Stephen Moon, CEO of Science in Sport plc, said: “The Group has regained its growth momentum after the unprecedented global disruption of the pandemic in 2020, returning to 20%+ growth rates. This very encouraging performance reflects the progress achieved in 2020 and the strength of our premium brands, and will help to drive strong underlying EBITDA growth.

“Growth is across all key markets, especially online, which is a key strategic area for us. Online sales increased by 44%, and now account for 54% of total sales, up from 46% a year ago, underpinned by our increased investment in online technology. Retail sales both in the UK and internationally moved past last year’s comparatives and have further to go.

“Prospects for further progress in the second half look strong, and our long-term growth strategy remains unchanged.”

The group’s cash position as of June 30th sat at £8.2 million, down from £10.5 million in the same period last year, but reflective of the investment placed into a new customer data platform, as well as the first phase of an investment in a new supply chain facility in Blackburn.