Mosaic Brands remains on track with its strategic growth plans, despite losing 50,000 store trading days during the first half of FY22, it has revealed in a trading update.
While the Omicron variant is limiting store traffic, Mosaic's customers are becoming increasingly more comfortable shopping online, with the Group recording a 21% increase in online sales compared to the prior corresponding period (PCP).
This increase saw it clock $119 million in online sales in the period.
Additionally, EziBuy's digital sales were also up 10.6% in the half.
Mosaic Brands CEO Scott Evans said despite the disruption, the business is pleased with its results.
"Notwithstanding the last six months being the most challenging trading period of this pandemic to date, our continued digital acceleration delivered 40% of Group revenue.
"This latest result further highlights the global trend of the over-50s consumer embracing the online channel, with sales for the first half of FY2022 up 21% for Mosaic Brands, including a record Black Friday sales period.
"This is further echoed as we move to completing the full ownership and turnaround of EziBuy, with its online sales also up 10.6% for the period.
"Underpinning this online growth is our increased investment in digital talent and our relentless focus to increase the number of third-party SKU’s we’re offering on our sites, which has grown from 200,000 to over 3.5 million covering 30 categories in just two years.
"We remain on track to achieve our goal to offer over 8 million SKUs by mid-2025," he said.
But it wasn't just the digital channel that was delivering results for the business.
According to the update, the Group delivered its second successive half of comparable store growth, up 1% on the PCP, while total Group revenues were $298 million.
Evans added that the business is pleased with these results, especially given the challenges of the pandemic.
"Across the Group we have lost just under 50,000 store trading days during this half through complying with Covid-related health orders or deciding independently to close stores for the health and safety of our team and customers.
"That was more than double the trading days lost for the same period a year ago.
"It’s particularly pleasing given that, notwithstanding the immense challenges we faced, Mosaic’s comparable store sales rebounded throughout the key November and December Christmas period as the lockdowns ended and finished the half at +1%, resulting in the Group now delivering two successive halves of comparable growth.
"Although the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant is currently impacting centre traffic, the reset and stock planning we’ve undertaken across the entire business means we’re well positioned and prepared to weather this latest wave," he said.
Mosaic reports that it expects H1 FY22 EBITDA to be approximately $8 million.
The business reports that this is 16% above broker estimates and is an increase of $9 million on PCP (excluding JobKeeper).
The Group reports net cash ending at $38 million.