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Temple & Webster posts strong start to the year

After flagging strong sales in July and August, Temple & Webster has reported a solid first quarter in what it expects to be its first profitable year of trading since launching in 2011.

The online homewares and furniture retailer’s gross revenue was up a record 39 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of FY19 and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were in excess of $200,000.

Temple & Webster CEO Mark Coulter credited the strong performance to the company’s value- and convenience-focused offering, which he said is resonating in a softer housing market.

Bricks-and-mortar players in the space, such as Beacon Lighting, have revealed plans to target customers undertaking home renovations to offset any possible impact of falling house prices on sales.

Temple & Webster is also looking to make the most of its head start on digital furniture and homewares sales, only 4 per cent of which currently occur online, as more consumers shift to buying bulky items over the internet.

The number of active customers grew by 30 per cent year-on-year, reaching 214,000, and a record number of first-time customers were added during the quarter at a cost of $55 per customer. Forty-five per cent of orders were made by repeat customers.

“As market leader, we are best positioned to capture the migration of spend from offline to online,” Coulter said, citing investment in digital platforms, delivery experience, private label range and marketing to ensure the company is “the first place Australians turn to when shopping for their homes”.

The group finished the quarter ended September 30, 2018, with a cash balance of $10.5 million and net cash flows of $600,000.

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