Made.com has announced profitability in the UK for the first time.

The e-tailer’s annual results ending 31 December 2016 revealed gross profit for the entire business was £49.3 million, an increase of 58%. But adjusted EBITDA stood at loss of £3.8 million, up from a loss of £6.2 million the previous year.

Made.com noted its UK business was profitable for the first time in 2016, while international is “tracking on the same trajectory”.

Made.com’s overall sales surged 48% to £91 million, while in the UK revenue increased 38%.

“Our latest published financial results, show sales fast approaching £100 million, demonstrating our scale and proving that the online business model works, as operational leverage becomes evident. While our primary focus continues to be on winning Pan European market share in order to optimise this sizeable long term opportunity, the UK’s move into profitability is a significant moment in the group’s evolution,” said Philippe Chainieux, CEO of Made.com.

International sales were up 69%, now accounting for 35% of the business. Made.com now operates in seven European markets, with Austria being its latest launch, earlier this year.

“Since inception seven years ago, Made was created with the specific purpose of winning and winning big in the consumer transition from high street to online by creating a new and contemporary customer proposition, which helps overcome the hurdles to online purchase,” added Chainieux.

“The pace of this structural shift is increasing and is now more evident than ever, with consumers growing in confidence transacting online, for home and big ticket items. Made is leading this change.”

He said the coming years for the business will be as transformational as ever before.

“Through our technology platform, we will increasingly harvest the views of customers to help determine which unique products to produce and sell globally under the Made brand; making good on our commitment and promise to democratise excellent design.” 

Back in May at RBTE 2017, Rebecca Ruddle, head of showrooms at Made.com, detailed how the retailer has been linking the online and offline in order to provide a better customer experience for online shoppers and manage its employees' time more effectively.

The initiative allows customers who are browsing from home to click on an icon on the website to chat with an in-store assistant on the latter’s iPhone or iPad device, and has been delivered alongside technology partner Hero.

Hero’s technology allows the customer and store assistant to communicate via text or a live stream, while images of the product can also be sent via the service.

Ruddle believes the trial, which has taken place in two regional showrooms, allows the retailer to take a more conversational rather than sales-led approach.