Healthy living boosts Holland & Barrett salesBy Edward Devlin, Senior Digital Staff Writer
Holland & Barrett has pushed sales past £500m with a sixth consecutive year of growth thanks to the resilience of the 'health pound' as consumers become more conscious of healthy living.
The results comes as the Nuneaton-headquartered health food and supplement retailer opens its 1,000th store and reveals plans to open a further 70 and create 485 jobs across the country.
Figures submitted today (8 October 2014) to Companies House showed sales for the year ended September 2014 up by 7.5 per cent to £513m, with profit rising 8 per cent to £130m. The company said it had recorded 24 consecutive quarters of growth.
Peter Aldis, chief executive of NBTY Europe, Holland & Barrett's parent company, said: "We have invested significantly in UK as well as overseas expansion.
"Through a combination of acquisition and franchising we are now operating 80 stores in eight territories and plan this financial year to open a further 70 new European stores generating around 485 new jobs in the UK.
"Customers are now buying Holland & Barrett products in markets as diverse as Iceland and Belgium to Kuwait and Singapore. We already have 29 franchised stores operating in China and see scope for further growth across Asia."
Holland & Barrett's 1,000th shop will open at the Trafford Centre in Manchester this morning.
Aldis added: "Although the UK high street has been challenging these past few years I believe the retail health sector benefits from the resilience of the 'health pound' against other demands on consumers' wallets.
"Long-term campaigns about the risks of sugar, salt and meat are translating into increased consumer interest in the healthy product ranges we offer, and a generation of more health and fitness aware consumers is driving increased footfall in our stores.
"We have in particular seen notable increases in demand for our 'free-from' food as well as healthy beauty ranges across all age groups, reflecting continued scientific advances and a genuine shift towards healthier living."
Today's store opening comes in the middle of a £40m investment programme. Holland & Barrett's multi-channel strategy will include the roll-out of a click-and-collect service to boost internet sales, new shop formats introduced and pilots for new store concepts such as protein shake bars and scent stations.