Science in Sport Plc - Pre-Close Trading Update
Sales increased 30% to £12.24 million in the 12 months to 31 December 2016 compared with the same period the previous year (2015: £9.45 million).
Investment in the Company's scienceinsport.com platform and operations resulted in a doubling of direct sales year on year. Third-party Online retailers and the Grocery channel delivered robust growth. While High Street and Independent retailers continue to face challenging conditions, SiS was pleased to make healthy distribution gains in the Independent channel.
Development of International markets was a key focus during the year for the Company. The new Australian operation delivered sales ahead of plan. Ex-plan investment was made in e-commerce websites in the USA, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands in the second half of 2016. The USA and Italian markets will be a particular growth focus for SiS in 2017.
Marketing investment resulted in increased brand awareness and usage, and this together with improvements in a range of other indicators, shows SIS brand to be in very good health and making significant progress versus its competitive set.
Together with capital investment in the Company's Nelson site in Lancashire, production line efficiencies reached new highs during the year, underpinning an improvement in gross margin despite Q4 currency related price increases. The outlook for margins remains positive, despite some slight increases in input costs.
The Board remains confident of continued strong growth in 2017 and beyond. The Company intends to issue its full year results on Thursday 23 March 2017.