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Jessops announce Christmas trading statement

Total sales up year on year

|  Industry News
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Jessops plc, the UK’s number one specialist photographic retailer, today announces its sales for the 5 and 13 weeks to 2 January 2005, together with additional information on trading in the first 8 weeks of the current financial year.


5 weeks to
2 Jan 05
% increase

13 weeks to
2 Jan 05
% increase

8 weeks to
28 Nov 04
% increase

Total sales

+ 10.4%

+ 9.4%

+ 8.5%

Store like for like sales

+ 4.5%

+ 5.3%

+ 6.0%*

Direct like for like sales

+ 46.2%

+ 26.7%

+ 14.2%

Total like for like sales

+ 6.2%

+ 6.4%

+ 6.6%

* previously announced on 8 December 2004

Despite generally tough trading conditions on the High Street throughout the Christmas trading period, Jessops’ sales held up well and showed particularly strong demand for digital cameras. Total sales increased 10.4% over the 5 week period to 2 January 2005 and total like for like sales were up 6.2%. Sales of digital cameras through all channels increased by 25.7%.

Within the total like for like figure, store like for like sales increased 4.5% in the period. This partly reflects the strong demand for digital cameras and for digital developing & processing (D&P), but is offset by lower analogue processing bringing total D&P sales down 4.1%. This change in sales mix has inevitably had a short-term impact on gross margins over the period but this is not expected to affect the results for the year as a whole. Historically D&P sales have their trading peak over the Summer months (August & September) rather than over Christmas.

Jessops operates a complementary multi-channel retail strategy, which in addition to sales through the stores, includes direct sales through mail order, telesales and the internet. Direct sales showed strong seasonal growth in the 5 weeks to 2 January 2005 and were up 46.2% on a like for like basis. Over the 13 weeks to 2 January 2005, like for like direct sales were up 26.7%. Direct sales accounted for 5% of total sales in the year to 30 September 2004.

The company’s store expansion programme has continued on track, with nine new stores opened since the start of the current financial year, bringing the total number of stores at 2 January 2005 to 271.

Derek Hine, Chief Executive, said: “Despite a generally tough retail environment, our trading over Christmas held up well against some very strong growth comparators both last year and in 2003. While it remains early days, trading in the first three months has maintained the momentum of 2004, with continued evidence of the strong demand for digital products. We are committed to driving the business hard and believe that we can deliver a good outcome for the year as a whole.”

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