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Booktopia’s sales up, but costs rise faster

Pureplay books retailer Booktopia says it has overcome a “number of challenges” and economic headwinds during the past year, but its profit has fallen.

Sales for the year to June 30 grew 7 per cent to $240.8 million with the average order value increasing by 6 per cent to $75.59. The average selling price per unit shipped rose 3.2 per cent to $28.27. 

Volatile trading conditions and increased customer fulfilment costs associated with Covid coupled with a number of one-off items impacted underlying EBITDA which fell 54 per cent to $8.7 million. Tax-paid profit was $13.8 million.

The business accelerated $2.8 million in depreciation as it decided to proceed with a new 2000sqm Customer Fulfillment Centre (CFC) in Sydney’s south Strathfield. It is on track to be fully operational by the end of next year.

Booktopia’s acting CEO Geoff Stalley said during the last financial year, the business dealt with Sydney’s lockdowns during the first half and the broader economic, supply chain and human resource challenges in the second half.

“We have taken decisive action to address rising costs and have developed a comprehensive strategy to return the business to sustainable, profitable growth over the next few years.”

The business has not provided any forecast for the full year citing uncertainty in the economy and overall market conditions.

In July, founder and former CEO Tony Nash stepped down following a “significant downgrade” in earnings.

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