Upmarket London-based grocer Planet Organic has slipped to its first annual loss in four years after the opening of its “most ambitious store to date” hit its bottom line.
The health food supermarket continued its double-digit sales growth, with revenues for the year to 27 August 2016 up 16.1% to £28.1m.
However, it fell to a pre-tax loss of £392k having recorded a profit of £428k in the previous financial year as the cost of opening its seventh London store affected profitability.
While sales grew by £3.9m, cost of sales increased by £4.6m (or 21.1%) due to pre-opening costs and “expected first year trading losses” of the new Tottenham Court Road store. CEO Peter Marsh said it was “our most ambitious store to date” and noted: “This store has exceeded budgets since opening, and we are satisfied with company performance in the first half of our current financial year.”
The accounts added its “profitable” online division “continued to grow rapidly”. It tied up with high-end grocer Hubbub in November 2015, though The Grocer broke the news last week that Hubbub is to close.