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Science in Sport Plc - Pre-Close Trading Update December 2019

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Full Year Trading Update and Notification of Final Results

Science in Sport plc (AIM: SIS), the premium performance nutrition company serving elite athletes, sports enthusiasts and the gym lifestyle community, is pleased to announce its pre-close trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.

The financial results for the year are in line with market expectations and show a strong performance in key growth metrics. 2019 was a landmark year for the Group, representing the first full year of ownership of the PhD brand following its acquisition in December 2018. Integration of the acquisition was completed successfully during the year, PhD protein production was brought in house, a new PhD e-commerce platform was launched, and synergies were delivered to plan.

The Group expects to report total sales for 2019 of £50.5 million (2018: £21.3 million), reflecting the PhD acquisition and strong growth during the year at both the PhD and SiS brands. Underlying sales at PhD grew 23% to £26.0 million (2018: pro forma £21.2 million), representing record growth for PhD, whilst SiS sales grew 24% to £24.5 million (2018: £19.8 million), contributing to the brand's six-year CAGR of 25% revenue growth.

E-commerce sales, a key strategic focus for the Group, grew strongly, up 34% to £16.1 million (2018: pro forma £12.0 million).

International Retail grew strongly, up 44% to £12.6 million. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia was a major new international launch for the PhD brand. Brazil was the biggest new international market for SiS during the year and a significant master distribution agreement was signed in Colombia, where, in common with other South American countries, cycling is hugely popular.

The key strategic markets and channels of USA, Italy, Australia and Football all performed in line with expectations.

UK Retail grew 8% to £21.8 million, underpinned by new distribution of SiS in Lidl, of PhD in Aldi and extended distribution for both brands in Tesco. 

New product development was a key growth driver during the year for both the SiS and PhD brands; new products delivered 25% of total Group sales growth with successful product launches including PhD's Smart Bar Plant and SiS's innovative Football range.

The outlook for 2020 continues to be strong and benefits from key appointments made last year including James Simpson as Chief Financial Officer and Andy Bott as Group Supply Chain Director. Neil Tinegate joined as E-Commerce Director in January 2020. All three of these executives bring significant international e-commerce experience gained at companies including ASOS plc, The Hut Group and Heineken.

Stephen Moon, Science in Sport's Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"2019 was a landmark year for Science in Sport during which we integrated the PhD acquisition as planned and continued our strategic growth focus on e-commerce and international markets. Our executive management team was significantly strengthened during the year which, along with important operational progress, has positioned the Group for the next stage of its growth. We remain confident of the outlook for 2020 and beyond, supported by a robust balance sheet and strong innovation pipeline."