BUSINESS LIVE: Retail sales disappoint in February; Wickes Group profits soar; Everyman cinemas narrow losses
British retail sales unexpectedly fell in February as online shopping sank back to its pre-pandemic levels and stormy weather deterred some shoppers from venturing out, official data showed on Friday.
Office for National statistics data shows sales volumes were down by 0.3 per cent from January, compared to forecasts of a 0.6 per cent rise.
Wickes Group saw a 71.7 per cent in adjusted pre-tax profits in the year to 1 January, netting £85million from revenues of more than £1.5billion.
Two-thirds sales were driven from digital channels, Wickes said, having ‘retained those customers acquired during the pandemic, and continued to grow the base further’.
Cinema group Everyman saw full-year losses narrow significantly in 2021 amid the easing of lockdown restrictions, reducing a £20.1million 2020 loss to £5.4million.
The firm told investors it was optimistic about its 2022 prospects and has seen strong admissions momentum since the start of the year.
Excluding automotive fuel, which rose in price in February as tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated, retail sales fell by a sharper 0.7%