Jessops has again enjoyed strong trading over the Christmas period,
with an uplift in both total sales and like for like sales in the five
week period, up 13.3% and 9.4% respectively. Within the total like for
like increase, store like for like sales increased 5.7% and direct like
for like sales, covering mail order, telesales and the internet, were
up 74.3%. This years growth is once again driven by an
uplift in digital camera sales across all channels, which were up 23%,
with sales of digital SLRs up 92.8%.
A combination of exclusive camera deals and competitive pricing on
market leading cameras were the key factors behind Jessops
strong sales performance, as a result gross margins for the first
quarter, although marginally below our expectations, were higher than
Jessops continued its store expansion policy, opening a further 7
stores in the 13 weeks to 1 January 2006, increasing the total number
of stores to 285.
The performance of the 16 spacemix trial stores has remained
encouraging over the Christmas period.
Derek Hine, Chief Executive, said:
This is a
pleasing performance and a welcome respite from the tough retail
environment faced for most of 2005. It is a good outcome given that we
were up against some pretty strong comparators from a good Christmas
for Jessops the previous year. Trading was particularly buoyant in the
week either side of Christmas. Despite this positive performance, it is
still early days in our financial year and Christmas is not as
significant for us as for some other retailers. With nine months
trading still to come, we are mindful of last years market
conditions, although this strong start to the year does underpin
confidence in our prospects for the year as a whole.