Belfast Telegraph

The Works hit by slower sales amid Brexit gloom

The retailer said its profits would be at the lower end of expectations.

The Works was hit by slower sales in the early part of the year (Tim Goode/PA)
The Works was hit by slower sales in the early part of the year (Tim Goode/PA)

The Works has warned that its pre-tax profits will be at the lower end of market expectations thanks to the impact of Brexit uncertainty on sales.

In an update for the 52 weeks to April 28, the group said revenue was up 13.2% and like-for-like sales had increased by 3%.

Sales got a boost from the strong performance of the click and collect service.

The group said like-for-like sales had softened since the beginning of 2019, as economic and political uncertainty dragged.

This came after a record Christmas for the retailer and amid its ambitious expansion plans.

The 500th branch of The Works will open this week in Winchester, Hampshire, putting the company on course for its target of 1,000 stores in the UK and Ireland.

During the year to the end of April, the chain opened 50 new stores.

Chief executive Kevin Keaney said: “Overall, we have had a successful year as we continued to expand our store footprint and online proposition and introduce new customers to The Works.

“We achieved another record Christmas, solid like-for-like sales growth, and further cash margin improvement in the year.

“Our differentiated proposition, offering a wide range of new products at outstanding value and delivered by our highly engaged colleagues, continues to be well received by our customers.”

He added: “Notwithstanding the more uncertain backdrop since January, the business has multiple growth levers and we remain confident in the future prospects for The Works.”