Sunderland furniture retailer ScS is predicting a very happy new year after enjoying a busy Christmas.
The firm has issued a trading update ahead of announcing six-monthly Interim Results at the end of this week.
“Trading over the key Christmas and January sales period remained strong within both ScS and House of Fraser, resulting in total like-for-like order intake for the 25 weeks ended January 16 2016 up 8.8%,” it said.
“This is a pleasing result against tough comparatives in the previous year.
“As a result the group expects to report profits significantly ahead of current market expectations for the year 2015/2016.”
Chief Executive Officer David Knight said: “Whilst we still have key trading periods over Easter and the two May bank holidays in the current financial year, we are delighted with the performance over the Christmas and January sales period and for the year to date.”
Today’s announcement marks the latest stage in ScS’ remarkable recovery since the firm became one of the first High Street names to fall victim to the recession.
In summer 2008, the company saw its credit guarantees withdrawn after “particularly disappointing” sales over the May Bank holiday weekend.
The group was saved by venture capital specialist Sun European Partners in a deal which saw parent company ScS Upholstery plc go into administration and A Share and Sons Ltd – the trading arm which actually runs the company’s stores – sold.
The deal secured the jobs of ScS staff, including 200 people on Wearside.
Sun Capital has substantial expertise in the retail sector, with a portfolio that includes UK kitchen and bathroom retailer HomeForm Group and lingerie company DBA, with brands such as Playtex and Wonderbra.
The American investment giant ploughed money into the firm, opening new stores, spending on advertising and promotion and launching a heavy investment programme focused on product development and promotion.