“Significant” Temple & Webster Sales Nearly Double During Virus Lockdown

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

The online boom for Australian retailers large and small continues with a handful seeing the surge cement their financial position and boost their share prices dramatically.

Retailers, such as JB Hi-Fi, Accent Group, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, Bunnings, Super Retail Group, Officeworks, City Chic, and Mosaic Brands have all reported sharp increases in online sales since the COVID pandemic swept through the country from February onwards.

In many cases, the boom hasn’t faltered going into May and June.

Temple & Webster is solely online (like another boom-story, Kogan.com) and had already seen a big surge in sales (and positive earnings) before COVID-19 hit and that has continued, at a higher pace.

Yesterday the online homewares and furniture retailer said it had nearly doubled its sales during the coronavirus lockdown.

In a trading update on Thursday morning, the company revealed that revenue for the five months to the end of May had grown 90% to over $77 million, bringing the company’s year-to-date revenue to $151.7 million.

Profit also soared, with Temple & Webster’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the period increasing nearly sevenfold to $7.1 million. For the entire 2018-19 financial year, the company’s EBITDA was just $1.1 million.

The online retailer also saw a boom in active customers, which increased 68% to 440,257 as shoppers shifted shopping online. All product categories saw “significant” growth, the company said.

CEO Mark Coulter said in the update the business had attracted a number of first-time customers during the lockdown period and many of them had returned to shop a second or third time.

“These customers are experiencing the benefits of our channel, including range, convenience, and value,” he said. “As a team, we remain proud that we have played a small part in being able to help Australians set up their homes during this crisis.”

Temple & Webster’s said the surge in sales has continued into June, almost double compared to last year.

Shares in Temple & Webster hit a low of $1.57 in late March, in line with the broader market plunge, however, they have soared 220 percent since then to trade at an all-time high of $5.21 at the close.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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