Healthy Christmas sales helped Holland & Barrett (H&B) deliver 4.8% year on year growth in the quarter ending 31 December 2019.
Other trading highlights included:
- Like for like sales increased 3.3% year on year with positive growth in all markets
- E-commerce sales grew 22%, driven by renewed trading focus
- Strong cash generation from sales growth, tighter cost and capital control
- Ambitious transformation plan to extend range of health and wellness products and services.
Growth was seen in both e-commerce and store channels, the retailer says. All markets experienced like for like sales growth, with significant growth in clean beauty and vitamins categories.
H&B says its transformation plan to extend the range of health and wellness and to extend its digital reach to help customers showed encouraging early progress. E-commerce and personalized subscription sales growth was particularly strong, driven by focused promotions and range extensions.
Our customers are increasingly telling us they want to live more healthy lifestyles … without compromising on the ethically and sustainably sourced products
The retailer says it is well positioned to further strengthen its digital capability and deepen its products and services offer. The business achieved strong cash generation in the quarter with ‘disciplined cost and capital investment control’, with £26m of cash on hand at year end.
Tony Buffin, H&B chief executive officer, says: “I am pleased with the progress our support centre, distribution and store teams have made in putting customers back at the heart of our business. Our customers are increasingly telling us they want to live more healthy lifestyles, to look better and to do so without compromising on the ethically and sustainably sourced products and services they buy. H&B is ideally placed to meet these demands in growing markets and although we are still only in the early stages of transforming the business I would like to thank all of our teams for their hard work in run up to Christmas.”