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Shares in The Works surge after strong sales and return to profit

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Shares in the cut-price crafts, books and toys retailer The Works surged more than 40% on Friday after it reported strong trading heading into the critical Christmas retail sales season.The company, which makes almost all of its annual profits in the festive period, said it was continuing to see a more “positive pattern” of sales after issuing a profit and sales warning in August.

The retailer said total like-for-like sales increased 5.7% in the seven weeks to 18 September.The Works makes the majority of revenues through its 525 physical stores, where sales were up 7.9%, but said it was building its presence online, where sales continued to show “gradual improvement”.Although online sales were 40% higher than they were before the pandemic, they were down 10% on last year, when they peaked thanks to shoppers being forced online by lockdowns and Covid restrictions.Gavin Peck, the chief executive of The Works, said: “We are well-placed operationally for Christmas and are gearing up to deliver for our customers, maintaining our commitment to provide them with the products they love at fantastic value.

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