Bullish Figures Give Waterstones New Confidence

Waterstones is entering the new year on a tide of optimism, buoyed up by impressive results for the year ending April 2022 which saw profits soar 1,352% to £42.1m as it emerged from the pandemic close downs.  Sales for the year ending April 2022 increased by 73% to £399.8m from £230.9m in the year ending April 2021, and £376m in the year ending April 2020.

A spokesman said: “It is very encouraging to see this recovery now that we are past the period of mandatory shop closures, many of these having been sudden and prolonged. Our customers returned to our bookshops with enthusiasm and our online business continued to perform exceptionally well. The business continued during this period to benefit from significant government support.”

The company said it continued to adapt to a changing retail landscape, with a shift in working patterns seeing reduced footfall in some city centres.  The UK’s cost of living crisis continues to affect consumer confidence too.  However, the chain’s chief operating officer, Kate Skipper, said the bookseller had enjoyed an “exceptional week” during the last week of December, and since then Prince Harry’s memoir Spare has continued to drive people into the stores.

The company also opened 13 stores in 2022, a sign of confidence that will be welcomed by publishers.