This, according to the company, was 30% ahead of the £5 million it predicted earlier in the year.
The company lost £32 million the previous year, its underlying profits before taxation improved by £10.6 million and gross profit was 1% higher year on year, while its base grew by 20,000 customers on the Create and Craft brand alone.
The news marks a significant turnaround for the company, which sells into over 31m homes in the UK via shopping channels on Sky, Freeview, Freesat, Virgin and late-night ITV plus 35m homes in America and on its own websites.
ISD and the newly appointed management team, CEO Jamie Martin and COO Martin Purcell attribute this turnaround to increased TV audiences, sales and a resilience in an increasingly challenging retail environment brought on by Brexit and lockdown. Despite the UK retail downturn, ISD were already well on the way with a digital transformation; diversifying from their roots selling items through traditional scheduled TV channels to successfully shifting the channel’s product offering online. The business remains bullish about their prospects for dramatically increased growth as it looks ahead to 2020/21.
According to Martin, “Covid-19 forced businesses of all sizes to shift gears. Luckily we were already well on our way with a digitally-centric approach ahead of Covid-19 crisis hitting and the last 12 months has been about us reaping the benefits of this strategy. By laying the foundations to thrive in an increasingly on-demand, online world, our business has not only successfully navigated retail’s choppy waters but we have been able to invest in new facilities, bring on bigger brands and negotiating pivotal partnerships”.
A further key contributor to Ideal Shopping Direct’s growth has been the successful negotiation with ITV. Martin added: “We had an entire studio producing standard definition programming, which wasn’t good enough for 2020. We made a multi-million pound investment in high definition cameras, production equipment and studio renovations, as well as new brand identities for Ideal World and the partnership with ITV and it has paid off.
“You only have to look at the growth of likes of Netflix and Amazon TV to realise that TV broadcast to a schedule when the broadcaster says it will be on has a limited shelf life. We have to stand out in that world and that means amazing quality pictures pushed out to discerning viewers whenever they want it”.