Gear4music in tune for growth after record year

GEAR4MUSIC has reported a record year in its first full year results since its IPO.

The York-based group, which completed its IPO in June 2015 raising £10.3m, saw continued strong sales growth with UK revenue of £26m, up 39%, and a 73% rise in European revenue to £9.5m in its preliminary results for the year ended February 29.

The company broke even, with profit before tax performance improving by £803,000 to a £6,000 profit once the £606,000 one-off costs of the IPO and exceptional finance costs of £233,000 were taken into account.

The company also saw its product range extending with own-brand revenue growth of 33% and new own-brand product lines including pianos, studio microphones and stage lighting.

Operating from an office, showroom and distribution centre in York, the group sells own-brand musical instruments and music equipment alongside premium third party brands including Fender, Yamaha and Gibson, to customers ranging from beginners to musical enthusiasts and professionals, in the UK and, more recently, into Europe.

Chief executive Andrew Wass said: “In our first set of annual results as a listed company, it’s very pleasing to be reporting a record year with strong growth across our core UK business and excellent progress into European markets, which has led to increased revenues and profits.  

“We have achieved this growth by investing into our website platform, infrastructure and product ranges, strengthening our customer offer, and establishing ourselves as the go-to online destination for musical instruments and equipment.  

“With over 10m visitors to our websites during the year, improved conversion and an increasing number of active customers, our investment strategies are delivering the growth we anticipated, and following strong sales momentum in both the UK and internationally during the first two months of the new financial year, we remain optimistic for the year ahead.”

The business said that a London operation remains a “strategic ambition” but that soaring central London property prices during the last two years have resulted in a commercially viable deal remaining elusive.

It said: “Whilst we have come close to agreeing terms on a number of occasions, we have not been prepared to make a long term lease commitment that does not make complete financial sense, and at this time we see better value for shareholders in focusing on our European expansion.”