Science in Sport looking to build beyond COVID-19

Sports nutrition business Science in Sport suffered a slight fall in its interim revenues, but managed to reduce half year losses, it revealed today.

The AIM-listed business, which has a manufacturing site in Nelson, East Lancashire, serves the elite athletes, sports enthusiasts and gym lifestyle communities.

In the six months to June 30, it reported turnover of £23.579m, down from £24.872m. However, a pre-tax loss of £2.563m compared with a loss of £3.081m the same time last year.

It said its underlying operating loss of £0.2m, against £0.6m last time, was due to its continued focus on removing non-strategic cost and prioritising profitable growth.

The five per cent fall in revenues reflected the severe second quarter disruption caused in all markets by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite this, the group said it has a strong balance sheet position with cash of £9.0m, up from £5.0m in 2019, following the successful £4.5m gross equity raise in April.

Since the end of the reporting period, the business has seen continued improvement in trading in July and August, with group revenues of £8.6m for those months, up one per cent on the same period last yea.

Digital and marketplace continued to perform strongly, delivering £3.8m of revenue in July and August, 34% ahead of the same period in 2019.

UK Retail year-on-year was 16% lower for July and August, indicating recovery from the first half 31% lockdown-related decline. Export retail was 13% lower, recovering from a 34% second quarter decline.

The group’s cash position increased to £9.8m at the end of August.

Chief executive, Stephen Moon, said: “We acted quickly and decisively in March to restructure given the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, we stabilised business operations.

“We have used the last six months to take advantage of changing consumer preferences and accelerated our digital and marketplace strategy.

“Improved channel mix and pricing, together with significant supply chain efficiencies, underpinned a strong gross margin. Subject to any further severe COVID-19 related impact, we feel we can build on this strong platform.”

He added: “We are also looking through COVID-19 and intend to get back onto our proven growth trajectory, underpinned by science-led innovation and strong brand equity.

“Major projects in supply chain and technology are under way, to help support the next phase of digital and international growth.

“We remain positive about our long-term profitable growth strategy.”

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