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Ryman improves profitability

Latest figures show 2.5% in-store growth and £4m earnings increase

 

Profitability has sharply risen at stationery and greetings retailer Ryman over the past 12 months as its latest trading update showed a £4million-plus improvement for the full year to 31 March.

The 130-year-old company, which has more than 190 stores across UK High Streets, reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) hit £2.7m – over £4m up on 2022-23 – on revenue of £104.6m.

Above: In-store growth at Ryman outlets hit 2.5%
Above: In-store growth at Ryman outlets hit 2.5%

That was down on the previous 12 months’ £107.6m but that period included an extra trading week and, while e-commerce sales were lower, in-store growth was 2.5% and the flagship London Graphic Centre location increased like-for-like sales by more than 11%.

Owner Theo Paphitis, who also owns hardware chain Robert Dyas and lingerie retailer Boux Avenue, commented: “I’m very pleased with the progress made by the Ryman business over the past two years as it recovered from the impact of the pandemic.

“I increased my personal involvement in the business as ceo 16 months ago, as well as increased time in the business, I have invested and committed to further funding to ensure Ryman has the resources to build on this progress.”

The result was boosted by proactive inventory management, a 7.4% increase in trading margin in the key High Street business where footfall continues to recover in city centre locations after being hard hit during the pandemic, and a focus on profitability in the e-commerce channel.

Above: Owner Theo Paphitis launched the personalised cards app during the improved sales period
Above: Owner Theo Paphitis launched the personalised cards app during the improved sales period

The period includes the expansion of the greeting card offer with the launch of Ryman’s print-on-demand app, where customers can order their personalised card and pick it up with a hour from any one of the UK-wide chain’s outlets.

Available for both Android and iPhone users, the service allows customers to browse over 2,000 card designs from The London Studio, personalise them on their mobile with the option to add their own messages and upload images straight from their camera roll.

Launching the service at the start of February, Theo pledged to “disrupt” the print-on-demand card industry, and added: “The app will now enable us to offer something completely unique in the online greeting card industry using the strength of the High Street, what makes ours unique is that you can then collect the card in a Ryman store within just 60 minutes.

“If you’re a last-minute Larry or Lucinda, or just a commuter wanting to save on postage, this is a game changer.”

And a percentage of profits from the app card sales is going to the British Dyslexia Association and the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity.

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