Sports nutrition firm Science in Sport (SiS) has revealed another strong year of growth, supported by online and overseas expansion, as well as its increasing presence in the leading supermarket multiples.
During the year to 31 December 2016, the company’s sales were up 30% at £12.24m. Its underlying operating loss increased from £0.25m to £0.8m, although SiS stressed that this was in line with management expectations and reflected its increased investment in marketing, sales and e-commerce of £5.93m (2015: £3.68m).
The group said its e-commerce platform was a focus again during the year and delivered 100% growth, as it continued to invest in developing its consumer database and driving improved conversion and loyalty.
SiS added that it worked closely with the leading five major grocery chains in the UK during the year. It achieved growth of 25% in this channel, slightly ahead of its expectations and driven year by distribution gains and uptake of its new products. SiS said that it expected the grocery channel to deliver solid results again in 2017.
Meanwhile, High Street revenue declined 28% in 2016, with the group blaming the “wider difficult market conditions in this channel”. It said its heartland of independent cycle and running shops also had a challenging year, declining 7% from 2015.
International sales grew significantly and some 22% of total revenues came from existing and new overseas markets. It said it new Australian subsidiary exceeded plan, delivering over £0.5m revenue. A USA subsidiary was set up in late 2016 with SiS saying that this had made a promising start to 2017.
Stephen Moon, SiS’s CEO, said: “This was a year of exceptional revenue growth for SiS where we continued to outperform our peers and grab market share in the highly attractive endurance sports nutrition sector. In line with our growth strategy, we continued to invest heavily in brand equity, marketing, product innovation, e-commerce and International markets, with the benefits evident in both our 30% increase in revenues and growing brand awareness in all markets.
“Online and International growth has been particularly strong during 2016. Our new Australian business delivered sales ahead of plan and in the second half we launched e-commerce websites in the USA, Italy, Germany and Netherlands. Our scienceinsport.com business doubled in size in the year.”
He added: “Our model is working, we have exceeded our revenue growth targets, and we are committed to our strategy of investing in science, brand, e-commerce and International markets. We expect our core UK and EU business to be EBITDA profitable in 2017 and we will deploy cash to support growth in International markets.”