Sweaty Betty sales soar but profits dented by investment as it prepares Asia launch
Gym-to-street specialist Sweaty Betty has reported higher sales but also a loss as it invested in its business during 2018. The company’s sales are riding high on the back of the athleisure boom and said demand for its leggings that sculpt the buttocks was seemingly unstoppable during the reporting period, despite their £75 to £95 price tag. And that demand seems to be continuing into the current year as well.
The firm’s sales soared 18% to £56.6 million last year as the chain, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018, continued to benefit from the casualisation of everyday dressing and the accompanying fitness boom.
But the firm’s pre-tax loss was £710,753, after a profit of £1.3 million a year earlier, due to investment in new stores and its digital operations.
CEO Julia Straus told the Evening Standard: “We are mindful of economic and political uncertainty, but shoppers don’t seem to be holding back on fitness-related spending. We see ongoing growth potential in the activewear sector as people increasingly concentrate on health and wellbeing.”
The company, which is still owned by its founders Tamara and Simon Hill-Norton, along with private-equity firm L Catterton, is heavily focused on expansion and will open its first store in Asia next month. It hasn’t yet revealed where the store will be but we should expect it to be the first of many as Strauss’s stated aim when she took her role during the summer was to move the brand into Asia.
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