Arts and crafts retail chain Hobbycraft is to create more stores and jobs after posting a lift in profits for the past year.
The company said its adjusted pre-tax profit for the 2022 financial year was £15 million, which marks a growth from £13.8 million the previous year.
Total revenue also rose 14.8% from £176.9 million in 2021 to £203.1 million.
Moving into the next financial year, the retailer is set to build three new sites, with stores in Bromborough, Merseyside; Biggleswade, Bedfordshire; and Southend, Essex; creating 40 new retail jobs.
Chief executive Dominic Jordan said the company is “incredibly well placed” moving forward, but added the 2023 financial year will be “challenging”.
He said: “As we emerge from the pandemic the business is incredibly well placed to build on the excellent performance in full-year 2022, with multiple new initiatives including the new website, workshop channel, further new stores and a subscription model which launches in the coming year.
“However, we are conscious that the year ahead will be very challenging, particularly given the significant inflationary pressures on our customers and we are starting to see this impact on market demand in the early part of full-year 2023.”
Mr Jordan also said Hobbycraft faced problems because of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and pandemic, which include a significant increase in freight costs and the company having to close for seven weeks in 2021 as it was not classed as an essential retailer.
Essential retailers included food supermarkets and pharmacies.
The company turned its efforts to the digital space, and saw e-commerce sales grow 58.2% from the point stores reopened in April 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2020.
The group also hailed strong growth for its benefits scheme – Hobbycraft Club – which has now reached 5.9 million members.
Seven new stores and 100 new jobs were created over the 2021-22 financial year across regions including Leicester, Rochester and Boucher Crescent in Northern Ireland.