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Published
Nov 4, 2021
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Vivienne Westwood fares well in Covid year as e-tail booms

Published
Nov 4, 2021

Vivienne Westwood is the latest UK company to file its 2020 results at Companies House and one of the few not to be completely devastated by the impact of the pandemic.


Vivienne Westwood - Spring-Summer2020 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula



In fact, it said that while 2020 was an unprecedented year, its turnover fell by only 9% to £42.13 million. And its gross profit was down by only 10.35% at £22.32 million, while cash flow from operations was considerably higher.

Pre-tax profit actually managed to rise to £3.9 million from £2.7 million and net profit was £2.88 million, up from £1.83 million.

Not that the pandemic left it unaffected as sales to its physical shops dropped 46.61% compared to 2019, caused mainly by lockdown measures and travel restrictions. 

But on the upside, the pandemic accelerated existing trends and the company saw its online sales growing by a massive 111%. Thanks to this huge growth online, overall retail sales sales only dropped by 3.52% year-on-year. 

And wholesale was almost flat – at least, it was down 1.04% compared to 2019, which was a good result in the circumstances. 

The company also managed to reduce its cost of sales by 7.42%, achieving a gross margin of 53%, which was only slightly down from the 53.8% of 2019. 

But the company said margins are still under pressure due to the nature of wider retail conditions and it has been focusing on reducing this pressure by reviewing its pricing.

The firm didn't give an update about trading since the pandemic year but it did say that it continues to remain attractive to its wide customer base and sales "continue to be consistent". Its focus remains on improving its existing stores and clarifying the positioning of its brand by focusing its offer and streamlining its portfolio.

It still harbours “major ambitions” to establish a better presence in key markets such as China and the US, as well as increasing its market share in Europe (in particular France, Italy and Germany) and Asia.

It's also undergoing a strategic review to create a new operating structure that would allow it to optimise processes and its overall efficiency.

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