Shares in Temple & Webster have surged by as much as 18 per cent to a record high after the online furniture trader increased full-year profit by 270 per cent.
Australians spending more time at home due to coronavirus concerns have turned to online shopping in droves, and helped Temple & Webster’s net profit after tax to $13.9 million.
Revenue for the 12 months was up 74 per cent, while active customers increased by 77 per cent.
Chair Stephen Heath said the lockdowns and forced closures of shops had no doubt led more people to buy furniture and homewares online.
However he believed these trends were already occurring. The oldest people in the “millennials” generation were entering their prime furniture-buying years, he said, and were already regular online shoppers.
The business focused on making sure it could meet enormous demand during the second half. It added 180 full-time staff to help secure stock.
Chief executive Mark Coulter said growth could have been greater during the last quarter, but management decided to ensure first-time customers had a great experience so they would return.
The Australian furniture and homewares market is worth $14.6 billion, according to a Euromonitor analysis.
Online sales are worth $744 million. Temple & Webster management say more Australians will buy these products online, as their European and US counterparts have, and the company is well-placed to capitalise.
In July, the business raised $40 million from a share sale for strategic investments and to strengthen its balance sheet.
Temple & Webster’s momentum appears to be continuing this financial year. Revenue to August 27 was up 161 per cent, year on year.
Mr Coulter said the range of products offered will continue to increase, and the company will use its immense amounts of customer data to personalise shopping.
Shares reached a record high of $9.79 earlier. They were higher by 16.32 per cent to $9.55 at 1533 AEST.