International growth boosts Gear4music

Andrew Wass, founder and managing director of Gear4music
Andrew Wass, founder and managing director of Gear4music
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M​usical instruments retailer ​​Gear4music ​reported strong half year revenues, driven by international sales growth and an increase in online customers.

The ​York-based firm​ sales international revenues rose 70 per cent to £13m in the six months to August 31.​

The largest UK-based online retailer of musical instruments and music equipment said UK revenue rose 30 per cent to £17.9m and it reported a 44 per cent increase in customer​ number​s.

Over the past few months the group said it has launched a US website and successfully relocated its head office with no disruption to the business.

​Gear4music’s chief executive ​Andrew Wass said:​ ​“I am very pleased with these results which combine tangible strategic and commercial progress with 44​ per cent​ revenue growth, which was ahead of our expectation for ​the first half​, equating​ ​to two-year growth of 150​ per cent​.

“​R​evenue growth in our core UK market continues to be strong, alongside a very strong performance in​ ​our ​i​nternational markets, supported by our new distribution centres that have improved our scale and​ ​customer proposition across Europe.​”

He said that the launch of the US website​ ​represents an important stepping​ ​stone in ​the group’s​ plans for growth outside Europe.

​“We expected increased operational costs and investment in our customer proposition to restrict​ ​profitability during ​the first half​, but we are well prepared for a busy seasonal period and the ​g​roup continues to​ ​trade in line with the board’s expectations for the full year​,” he said.

The group made a £70,000 pre-tax loss over the half year, down from a profit of £970,000 the previous year.

​Gear4music ​said it ​will issue a trading statement in early January ​to update on the all important festive trading season​.

The firm sells own-brand musical instruments and music equipment alongside premium third-party brands such as Fender, Yamaha and Gibson, to customers ranging from beginners to musical enthusiasts and professionals, in the UK, Europe and, more recently, the rest of the world.

It has distribution centres in York, Sweden and Germany.