Sofa retailer ScS has cheered “encouraging” trading since stores reopened from lockdown, and said it will restart dividend payments.
The home furnishings company gave the update as it said results for the full year to July 31 will be ahead of expectations. Analysts had pencilled in sales of £314 million and pre-tax profits of £11.8 million.
During the pandemic a number of people have used lockdowns as an opportunity to invest in their homes.
ScS said that despite shops having to temporarily close at various points, comparable order intake in the 46 weeks to June 12 was 10.6% higher than a year earlier.
It pointed to a surge in online orders, and was able to reopen branches from the latest lockdown in April.
As at June 12 the retailer’s order book was £116.6 million, which is £39 million larger than at the same point in 2020.
ScS suspended the payment of the interim dividend during the Covid-19 crisis but today said “the strength of the group’s balance sheet, coupled with the robust trading experienced since our stores opened in April, has provided the board with the confidence” to recommence dividends.
It is starting with an interim payout of 3p per share.
The firm added that given the encouraging trading performance, it has repaid the £3 million in furlough money previously claimed in relation to the current financial year.