ScS says it is trading well, and now expects FY21 to be ahead of market expectations, with the outlook for FY22 "substantially better" than current market forecasts.

In a trading update for the 46 weeks ended 12th June 2021, the retailer stated that it experienced strong order intake growth over the first 21 weeks of the financial year, despite the impact of further temporary regional and national store closures across the UK.

LFL order intake was up +10.6% YoY (but down -9.5% Yo2Y), with significant gains made since the reopening of stores in England (up +79% Yo2Y).

The launch of a new website, coupled with new initiatives completed during the year, saw the group’s online sales channel continue to make good progress, with a year to date increase in order intake of +95.3% YoY (+165% Yo2Y).

As at 12th June, the group’s order book stood at £116.6m (including VAT) – £39m larger than at the same point in the prior year.

The group says it has maintained a robust balance sheet, with cash at £101.3m, and no debt, and further liquidity available.

Given this encouraging performance, ScS has made good on its intention to repay the £3m in Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grants previously claimed in relation to the current financial year.

David Knight’s handover to new CEO Steve Carson has progressed as planned, and Steve has now assumed responsibility for the day-to-day running of the business.