Safestyle was pushed into pre-tax loss in H1 by a cyber-attack at the beginning of the year which forced it to delay a series of planned price increases to keep pace with inflating costs.
The retailer however delivered a ‘good’ trading performance, according to CEO Mike Gallacher, with a revenue growth of 7.2% against an increasingly difficult economic backdrop
The business initiated a £5m strategic investment programme including £2.5m of TV advertising, new business development and its Safestyle Academy for training new fitters.
Gallacher continued: “Despite the obvious financial impact of the cyber-attack, it is pleasing to see our net cash position remains strong, increasing to £13.0m at period end with the Group’s order book also growing by 17.7% over the first half, representing a closing position that was 17.6% ahead of the prior period. This supports our ability to act on our long-standing intent to return to paying dividends to shareholders.
“In 2022 we emerged from a sustained period of turbulence and have now initiated a multi-year strategic investment programme. For 2022, this represents a £5m investment versus 2021 and it encompasses a full year return to TV advertising (£2.5m), the initiation of an important new business development project (£0.7m), the launch of the new Safestyle Academy which has prioritised training new window fitters (£0.8m), the roll out of Standard Operating Procedures (‘SOPs’) across our depot network and a range of investments behind improving our customer experience and reducing our quality costs.
“Looking ahead, notwithstanding the challenging macro-economic conditions, we still expect the business to deliver both an (underlying) profitable full year and positive cashflow from operations. As a result of the challenges in Q3 caused by the unusually hot weather and the Board’s commitment to our strategic investment programme, we now expect full year underlying profit will be no lower than £1.0m.”