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Published
Jun 18, 2021
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Inspecs makes loss in pandemic year but momentum is positive

Published
Jun 18, 2021

British eyewear specialist Inspecs reported its results for last year on Friday and they showed plunging revenues and a net loss, although the company highlighted its “positive momentum in 2020 creating a strong platform for growth in 2021”.


Inspecs



The company, which reports in US dollars, said revenue dropped to $47.4 million from $61.2 million while the net loss was $8.9 million, down from a 2019 $6.4 million profit. That said, it made a profit on an underlying EBITDA basis of $5.8 million, although this was lower than this $13 million of a year earlier. And gross profit dropped to $20.5 million from $27.5 million. The company ended the year with net assets of $145.8 million, up from $31.3 million a year earlier.

The company has licences for Superdry, Santana, O'Neill, Radley, Farah and Nascar, among others.

While the pandemic clearly had a big impact on its operations last year, the company remains upbeat and it also had an extremely busy year that saw it investing heavily in its operations.

CEO Robin Totterman said:Despite what has been an extraordinary period for the business, we have maintained positive momentum in 2020 creating a strong platform for growth in 2021. Furthermore, I consider us very fortunate to have been in a situation where we could both help the various NHS trusts with PPE (eyewear) requirements and continue to develop the business in what were very difficult Covid-related conditions.

Since our IPO in February 2020, the acquisitions of Norville and Eschenbach have created a well-balanced vertically integrated business serving both global retail chains and the independent optical market. The enlarged group now has a worldwide distribution network serving over 70,000 retail outlets giving further growth opportunities.”

And he added that the group “has performed well in the first five months of 2021 despite continuing restrictions caused by Covid-19”. Q1 sales have hit $67 million, it continues to win new customers and its order books are higher than at the same time in 2020 on a like-for-like basis.

Totterman thinks the first-half update due in August should “start to demonstrate the enlarged group's capabilities”.

And enlarged the company certainly is. It bought Norville in July 2020, giving it further vertical integration and access to the lens market, and Eschenbach in December, “giving a strong platform to the independent retail market in Europe and the US”.

It has increased manufacturing capacity to over 8.5 million frames, up 70%, and added seven new in-house brands added including Botaniq, its first “fully sustainable” eyewear range. 

During the year, a “significant number" of new global branded licences were added to the brand portfolio, it launched a B2B website with 63% of independent UK customers registered, and it was awarded the international Green Product Award for a fully recycled and recyclable O'Neill Wove frame.

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