Holland & Barrett profits up: We’ll be a £1bn business by 2020

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sales increased from £513.6m (€707.43m) in 2014 to £573.8m (€790.35m) in 2015.  Photo credit: iStock.com
Sales increased from £513.6m (€707.43m) in 2014 to £573.8m (€790.35m) in 2015. Photo credit: iStock.com

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UK-based but expanding supplements and healthy foods retailer Holland & Barrett International has posted an annual sales increase of 11.7% and profit growth of 12.2% in its full year results - something it says puts it in good stead to become a £1bn (€1.38bn) business by 2020.

The company – part of the NBTY Group acquired by Carlyle Private Equity in 2010 – announced today its results for the full financial year ending 30 September 2015.

It said this was the seventh consecutive year of Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) above 10%.

results finance business profits
Photo credit: iStock.com 

Sales increased from £513.6m (€707.43m) in 2014 to £573.8m (€790.35m) in 2015. Profit before tax over the same period was up from £130m (€179.06m) to £146m (€201.10m).

Commenting on the results, CEO Peter Aldis said the results reflected an increasing consumer interest in healthier living and wellness.

The company’s international expansions showed this was not just a UK or even western phenomenon, he said. 

“We know from our own experience operating across 11 different territories that consumers are increasingly prioritising spending on health and wellbeing above many other demands on their wallets. 

“Demand has continued to increase for our long established propositions in vitamins, minerals and supplements, but our investments in further developing our product ranges in sport, healthy beauty and healthy food have shown notable increases in sales and footfall across all of our stores in all markets.”

Earlier this year Kyle Rowe, Holland & Barrett's international development director, told us in five to ten years its global franchises were likely to be bigger than its core UK​ and Ireland stores where the business began and 744 stores were currently located.

Re-branded ‘Holland & Barrett International’ this year, Aldis said these international plans would play a key role in its £1bn by 2020 target.

“We are already in the top quartile of the UK’s fastest growing retailers and have the means to continue to invest in growth across not only across our UK and European network, but also in our very successful international franchise model. This in particular has enabled us to grow quickly in markets as diverse as Kuwait and Malta, Singapore and China.”

He said the retailer’s British heritage gave it a significant advantage overseas where consumers saw this as a mark of quality and reliability compared with local competitors. Training of its staff was also key.

Holland & Barrett's expansion plans encompassed new stores, franchising, acquisitions, joint ventures and building an online presence. 

Holland-Barrett-global-franchises-plans_strict_xxl

2015 marked a milestone for the company with a new store in the Chinese city of Taiyuan becoming its 100th franchise store.

Such stores have the Holland & Barrett name above the door and must stock 80% Holland & Barrett products. 

It has 34 franchised stores in China since it entered the market in 2012 as well as two online ‘storefronts’ on Tmall.com  and Tmall Global, both part of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Overall 56 new stores were opened by Holland & Barrett - bringing the total number of stores under the brand to date to 1071, of which 104 were franchised. 

It is also in the process of negotiating a partnership in India, with the first franchise store set to open next year.

This year NBTY rebranded its Dutch and Belgian retail chains De Tuinen and Essenza ​- acquired in 2003 and 2013, respectively - to have Holland & Barrett name over the door. 

In NBTY's final year results this year​ Holland & Barrett was seen as something of a bright spot within otherwise disappointing gains. NBTY recorded $3.23bn (€2.98bn) in net sales in the financial year ending 30 September 2015.

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