Beauty Bay sales and profits plunge as physical shopping bounces back
The return of customers to physical stores may have been good news for many companies, but it was bad for Manchester-based cosmetics business Beauty Bay.
The online company saw its sales plummeting as life got back to normal in the year to the end of March 2022.
Its turnover was £93 million, down as much as 31% on the £134 million achieved in the previous year. However, at least this was an increase of 13% on its turnover levels before the pandemic (the year to 31 March 2020), when it generated sales of £82 million.
The company said the latest decline was primarily driven by the return to more normalised levels of customer acquisition and orders post-pandemic following an exceptional increase in the main pandemic year when customers switched to buying beauty products online.
Beauty Bay added that it continued to focus on driving its private label business and on key strategic markets throughout the year, and that product margins were maintained at similar levels to the previous period. However, it saw a reduction in the overall gross profit margin to 14%, down not only from 21% in 2021, but from 20% in 2020.
As we've seen at many other companies, this was a consequence of increases in international delivery costs post-Brexit, as well as the need for extra marketing investment during the year.
What that all meant for the bottom line was a 54% fall in gross profit. In the latest year it was down to £12.9 million from £28.3 million and it also undershot the gross profit figure in 2020, which was £16.3 million.
It made a pre-tax loss of £9.3 million, completely reversing the pre-tax profit of £9.3 million in the previous year and EBITDA was a loss of £7.7 million compared to a profit of £10.6 million 12 months earlier. The net loss was £7.6 million against a net profit of £7.6 million in 2021.
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