Hamleys reveals bear necessities in flotation pathfinder

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Stephen Woodbridge, managing director, and Howard Dyer, chairman of Hamleys, the toy retailer, which is planning to open shops in tourist areas and may extend its range of own-brand products as a way of maintaining growth.

The proposals were disclosed yesterday by Hamleys as it launched the pathfinder prospectus for its flotation, planned for next month. That showed profits of pounds 3.6m, before interest of pounds 900,000, 50 per cent above the previous year, on sales 16.8 per cent ahead at pounds 20.9m.

Mr Dyer said he expected Hamleys to be valued at about pounds 40m, which would put it on a historic multiple of about 16.6 times earnings.

The company is likely to raise about pounds 12m, which it will use to repay all its borrowings. The venture capitalists who backed the group's buyout from Lowndes Queensway in 1989 are also likely to sell some of their shares for about pounds 8m.

Hamleys has opened small stores in Covent Garden and Heathrow in addition to its London flagship on Regent Street.

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