Tandem Group, one of the UK’s largest distributors of sports and leisure equipment, battled poor weather and changing buying habits last year but has reported growth in its mobility retail arm.
Overall group revenues dipped by 12% to just over £32m in the year ended 31 December 2018, resulting largely from “exceedingly poor” weather and large overstocks with a certain national retailer.
But the group’s Expressco business, which sells mobility scooters and rise and recliners online, has increased its profitability, helping to offset Tandem’s overall sales decline.
While Expressco’s turnover reduced marginally during the year, principally due to a changing buying pattern from one customer in the early part of the year, it recovered during the second half of 2018.
Sales in the six months following June were “strong”, according to Tandem’s financial report, with a double digit increase in revenue.
The report added: “Whilst we continue to strive for sales from our own websites, we cannot ignore the potential from third party sites and therefore continued to take advantage of these sales platforms also.”
Tandem’s report stated that 2019 has started “very strongly” for the group, with forward order books “considerably ahead” of the same time last year.
It concluded: “Not only have we fully redesigned and extended our gazebo range with higher specification components and fabrics, we have developed new products in outdoor, leisure, home, mobility and Christmas categories.
“We are optimistic about the outlook for 2019. Whilst we are mindful of macro-economic uncertainties, we expect to achieve significant turnover growth and we continue to be extremely confident in our ability to deliver profitability to our shareholders.”
Image: Pro Rider’s Evolve is one of the flagship scooters sold by Expressco.