Promotional specialist SpaceandPeople has welcomed a return to top-line growth without the substantial government support required during the pandemic lockdowns.

Commenting on the Glasgow-headquartered company's results for the year to the end of December 2022, chief executive Nancy Cullen said there was a "huge sense of relief" in reporting on figures only "slightly affected" by Covid. 

"I am also happy to report that these results show strong revenue growth and have been accomplished this year without the substantial levels of government support that were received in 2021," she said. "This represents a major achievement for this business which was so badly affected by lockdowns during the pandemic."

READ MORE: SpaceandPeople makes partial recovery from lockdowns

Annual revenues were 38 per cent higher at £5.5 million as conditions steadied compared to the "stop-start" trading of 2021. Shopper footfall hampered in the opening months of 2022 by continuing restrictions to contain the Omicron variant of Covid was "short-lived" compared to previous waves, with demand building across all sectors as the year progressed.

SpaceandPeople operates predominantly in shopping centres and train stations in the UK and Germany. In October of last year it also installed the first of its mall kiosks in Austria.

Gross profit increased by 37% to £3.9m, with all business areas performing "significantly better" than in 2021. The pre-exceptional operating loss of £9,000 loss was slightly worse than the previous year's profit of £15,000, but was achieved with £610,000 less of Covid salary support and grants.

READ MORE: Scottish promotional specialist hails the growing return of retail

"During the year we have built back business strongly in the UK and Germany to the point where, in December 2022, the UK promotional business experienced its strongest sales month on record as well as introducing a new product to our market which is already showing good growth potential," Ms Cullen said.

Retailers and promoters have not been immune to increased costs, wage inflation and interest rate increases, the company said. This has had a "material effect" on a number of retailers, especially those who sell lifestyle products.

However, SpaceandPeople noted that its business model focuses on refreshing retail offerings, with its sales teams and venue managers working to replace traders who are struggling. The company said it has also been prudent in recognising revenue from traders who are potentially distressed.

Shares in the AIM-listed business closed yesterday's trading 10% lower at 90p.