Home fragrance retailer Dusk Group (ASX:DSK) has announced some solid first half results, despite 20 Melbourne stores being closed down for two months due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The company reported in-store sales growth of 44%, while online sales rose by 120% on the previous corresponding period (pcp).

Pro forma EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) increased by 194% to $28.3 million, excluding the $2.8 million Jobkeeper benefit that the company would pay back in the second half.

Dusk chief, Peter King, put the solid results down to teamwork as his company delivers 15 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales and gross margin growth.

“A near trebling of EBIT vs the pcp despite the lockdown of our 20 Melbourne Metro stores points to the resilient teamwork of the dusk organisation,” he said.

“While COVID-19 has seen a shift in consumption to home related products, it should be noted that Q2 FY21 was the 15th consecutive quarter of LFL Sales and gross margin growth. December itself was the fourth consecutive Christmas of record sales and earnings.”

Online growth

Dusk’s online sales grew by 120% during the period, in response to the national and subsequent Melbourne lockdowns.

As a result, online sales now make up 8.3% of the company’s total sales and are approaching $1.3 million annually.

Dusk said it has undergone development work on its web platform, which set to go-live in April.

The upgrade will provide a faster, more flexible, and more engaging website, and will cater for its subscription, credit cards, and other payment options.

Dusk Group snapshot

Dusk listed its IPO shares the ASX on 2 November 2020, which saw the company issuing 35 million shares at $2 per share.

The share price was little changed in response to today’s announcement and a short time ago was trading at around $2.90.

It has over 115 physical stores nationwide (and the online store), and pretty much develops all of its products in-house.

Dusk has been a favourite of LIC manager Wilson Asset Management, which has been buying up Dusk shares.


Dusk Group share price chart: