Online greetings card and gift retailer Moonpig could go public with a stock market IPO following a spate of thriving trading during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Moonpig Group has been owned by private equity firm Exponent since 2016. It has been reported by Sky News that the firm is in early-stage talks with investment banks about a possible stock market flotation.
Million Customers Added
The firm, which sells customisable greetings cards and other gifts online, claims that it added over a million new customers during April and May of this year. It also claims that it was ‘the UK’s leading shopping app over the summer period’.
Moonpig’s performance contrasts with that of high-street rivals such as The Card Factory and Clintons, which have struggled during the coronavirus crisis with low sales and a lack of footfall to their stores, especially during the tightest periods of lockdown.
Moonpig’s financial performance has certainly been impressive. It’s seen sales of £172.8 million in 2020, a figure that’s up by 44 per cent on the previous year. Pre-tax profit is also up by a healthy 137 per cent, at £33 million.
The question for potential investors is, of course, whether or not the Moonpig Group can sustain this type of growth and profitability over the longer term – be it during a second period of lockdown, or after restrictions on our daily lives are lifted.
But the fact that Kate Swann is currently at the helm of the firm will give investors confidence – she helped transform the fortunes of an ailing WH Smith during her time as Chief Executive there.
All this is so much speculation at the moment, of course, and Moonpig Group is keen to play down the significance of its discussions with investment bankers for the moment. “As a high-growth company,” a spokesperson has said, “we constantly evaluate our funding options, and regularly meet with advisers on this subject.”
Whether or not Moonpig goes ahead with an IPO, the trend it highlights is clear: businesses that are able to react with agility to changing market conditions, unencumbered by bricks-and-mortar running costs, can thrive.