Scots firm banks record sales of £33 million selling skin-tight spandex costumes
MorphCostumes, which was created in 2009 by brothers Fraser and Ali Smeaton and friend Gregor Lawson, brother of Scotland rugby international Rory, said turnover had topped £33.1 million in the past year, as a result of gaining market share and an acceleration of product development. AFG Media, the parent company of MorphCostumes, saw turnover surge by 72 per cent year-on-year while operating profits nearly doubled for 2022. Underlying profits, excluding exceptional items, hit £3m with margins increasing to 9.2 per cent from 7.9 per cent in the prior year.
The company’s owners credit the ongoing success to a number of factors, including significant growth in market share on Amazon, the firm’s main route to market, and an increased focus on “data-driven product development”. The growth of Halloween celebrations around the world also contributed to a sales uplift in September and October 2022, the pre-Halloween period which typically accounts for up to 50 per cent of the company’s annual sales.
The direct-to-consumer business generates some 55 per cent of its turnover in the US - the majority with online giant Amazon - but also sells through retailers Walmart and Target, while trading successfully in the UK (25 per cent of the business), the EU (18 per cent) as well as Canada, Mexico and Australia. Last year, the firm invested in the stock required to facilitate its ongoing future growth including Christmas-related costumes.
Co-founder and chief executive Fraser Smeaton said: “We are committed to our ongoing investment in the people, data, processes and infrastructure required to deliver our product portfolio at scale across the Amazon platform around the world, while our years of category and consumer data presents an area of competitive advantage that will ensure we are well positioned to deliver future growth. We also continue to actively increase our product portfolio through a combination of in-house design and strategic acquisitions, using data to inform new product development in evergreen products with strong global sales potential,” he added.
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