Superdrug’s pre-tax profits fell by 79 per cent in the 12 months to December 26 2020, its latest accounts reveal.
The multiple’s Companies House report, published earlier in July, shows it made £18.8m in profit last year, down from £89.4m in 2019, while revenues dropped by 15 per cent from £1.3bn to £1.1bn.
The company said that despite taking measures to offset the financial impact of the pandemic, a 75 per cent decline in footfall took a toll in the first national lockdown, leading to 230 stores temporarily being shuttered.
The second half of 2020 saw the company make a recovery, but a resurgence of the virus in the final months of the year hampered the normally busy Christmas period.
Last year saw a net reduction of 13 stores, with 20 closing and seven new ones opening. Of Superdrug’s 788 stores, 198 operate an NHS pharmacy.
However, the company’s online business “saw significant growth as customers were forced to shop online,” with online orders rising by 106 per cent and the company’s online pharmacy growing by 132 per cent.
Chief executive Peter Macnab said: “2020 was an unprecedented and tough year for many high street retailers and of course we see the severe impact of the pandemic reflected in annual results across the high street.
“As an essential retailer, the most important thing is that our 788 stores were able to stay open to serve and support our colleagues, customers and communities through the pandemic.”