Superdrug, part of the A.S. Watson Group, has reported a pre-tax profit for 2018 of £88.3 million off the back of a solid performance with an increased market share to 9.8% (from 9.2% in 2017) and increased total revenue by 3.3% – from £1,242m in 2017 to £1,283m in 2018.
Superdrug opened 23 new UK stores in 2018 which helped drive the growth in revenue, in addition online sales continue to grow, seeing an increase of 15 per cent over the year, plus two new stores in Republic of Ireland.
In one of the hottest summers in recent years bronzing products saw a 29% increase in sales, and Superdrug’s own suncare brand Solait took the number one sales spot over the season. Another growth area was vegan beauty as the country saw a shift towards plant-based foods, Superdrug spearheaded this trend with the launch of its Little Vegan Pop Up Shop which offered around 1,000 vegan beauty and toiletry products. Sales of Superdrug vegan own brand products rose 25% over the year.
Superdrug launched its Shades of Beauty campaign in 2016, which aims to offer more products for men and women of colour, and customers will find Kinks, Curls and Coils hair stands, packed with products to suit Afro hair, in over 350 stores. 2018 saw sales in this category rise +80% and the business is committed to expanding this product category in 2019.
Healthcare and wellbeing also grew with the launch of specialist services such as Botox, this helped 84% growth in sales of health services, and there are now 61 nurse clinics.
The year saw the business explore new markets including a great value SIM only mobile phone network, Superdrug Mobile, for Health & Beautycard members. Launched in June the network offers members the benefit of double loyalty card points on all their shopping with Superdrug, giving them more opportunities to spend and save. This new initiative has helped drive the Health & Beautycard membership programme to new heights with over 14 million registered members, an increase of 20% over the year.
2018 saw more stores offering beauty services including Nail Bars and Brow & Lash Bars, bringing the total to 100 and 330 respectively. A new Beauty Studio format was developed for retail parks and larger shopping centre stores offering customers a variety of services in one place including manicures, brow shaping, hair colouring, cutting and styling, barber shop grooming services, tanning and waxing.
Fosse Park, Leicester offered the first of this format followed by Sheffield’s Meadowhall. Superdrug is now the UK’s largest Brow Bar and Nail Bar operator, painting thousands of nails, and shaping thousands of eyebrows every week.
2018 saw a new partnership with Beauty Banks offering customers the chance to donate personal care products in selected stores in Manchester which are then distributed to those in need in the community by a local food bank. In 2019 this has now been introduced to selected stores in Scotland.
Commenting on the results, Peter Macnab, CEO of A.S. Watson Health & Beauty UK, says; "We are pleased with the company’s performance in challenging times, and I’d like to thank every team member for their hard work and contribution to these results.Our strategy for 2019 is to ensure we are offering all our customers everyday accessible health and beauty, giving them the beauty and health services they need in a vibrant and friendly store environment."
Superdrug had 816 stores in UK and Ireland at the year end.