Instrument seller hits blue note as inflation bites

York musical instrument retailer Gear4music reported a 4% drop in first-half gross profit to £17.4 million and an overall operating loss of £300,000, it announced to the London Stock Exchange this morning.

Chief executive Andrew Wass said the results were in line with previously reported challenges, including inflationary pressures on costs, a fall in consumer confidence due to the cost-of-living crisis, unusually hot weather during summer, and comparison to the last of the Covid-enhanced figures in the first quarter of 2022.

“Whilst we have adapted to the challenges of the last six months, we have also remained focused on our longer-term growth strategy, delivering a wide range of customer centric improvements throughout the business,” he added. “Progress has included several website upgrades, such as the ability for customers to create their own customised audio packages and cables, extending evening cut-off times for next day delivery, improving our consumer finance proposition, and upgrading our digital downloads sales platform.”

The firm saw first-half revenues grow by 2% to £66.3 million despite a 3% decline in UK sales figures the company attributed to a more normal tradin genvironment in the wake of the pandemic. European sales grew by 10%.

Wass said trading momentum had picked up in the past tow months. “We are also well prepared for our peak seasonal trading period. The board therefore remains confident that results for the full financial year will be in-line with current consensus market expectations,” he said.