// Waterstones posts rise in profits thanks to return of in-store customers
// The bookseller posted a £42.1m profit after tax for the year ending April 2022, up from £2.9m in 2020/21
Waterstones full-year profits have soared as customers returned to bookshops after Covid restrictions eased.
For the financial year ending April 2022, the bookseller posted a £42.1m profit after tax, an increase from £2.9m in 2020/21 and £19.7m in 2019/20.
Sales surged 73% to £399.8m from the prior Covid-hit year. Against 2019/20, sales were 6.3% up.
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In its first full-year performance post pandemic, Waterstones said it benefited from the scrapping of lockdowns and restrictions.
The retailer said its acquisition of independent bookseller Blackwell’s in March 2022 “exemplified its confidence in the business”.
The acquisition of Blackwell’s came after Waterstones bought Foyles in September 2018.
It brought Blackwell’s into the same group as US bookseller Barnes & Noble, which like Waterstones is owned by US hedge fund Elliott Investment Management.
Despite its renewed confidence, teh bookseller warned that reduced footfall, rising inflation, lower customer confidence and supply chain issues may continue to be a challenge in the future.