“Positive results in a challenging climate”: Squire’s reports £4m pre-tax profits

Squire’s Garden Centres reported a pre-tax profit of £4m as it filed its annual accounts for the year ending 31 July 2022. The company said it had had a “good performance for 2022, well above pre-pandemic levels”.

Sales dropped 2% overall to £68.2m (2021: £69.5m). Within that total, garden centre sales dropped by 9% to £59.9m (2021: £65.8m), while restaurant sales more than doubled to £8.3m (2021: £3.7m). Profit before tax dropped to £4.0m (2021: £7.9m) (underlying, adjusted).

“The year was never going to match the record results of 2021, and the company’s budgets and aspirations reflected this,” read a Squire’s statement.

The company said demand for plants and horticultural products remained at above pre-Covid levels in FY2022, as gardening and outdoor living, in general, remained popular. “However, like other operators, Squire’s experienced supply challenges in many categories, resulting in higher stock levels than usual at the year-end. In the current year, the supply chain has recovered, and stocks are returning to more normal levels,” said Squire’s.

Its new e-commerce offering recorded sales of nearly £1m in its first full year, with Squire’s saying it “remains pleased with the steady development of this channel”.

Chairman Sarah Squire (pictured), said, “As we move forward into the post-Covid world, I am pleased with the set of results we have posted again this year. Once again, I am full of admiration for my amazing colleagues, in our Centres and in Group Office, who worked so tirelessly in a constantly changing landscape throughout FY2022.

“Experience teaches us that the weather is still likely to have the greatest effect on our results for 2023. The view ahead of us may be an unpalatable combination of war; energy cost increases; stubborn inflation; wage pressures; higher interest rates; and volatile consumer confidence. However, despite all this, we believe we are well-placed to withstand the storms around us. We will continue to champion plants and gardening and work hard to maintain standards and give our customers the best service we are able. This means we can view the future with confidence.’

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