£14m bailout for Pringle after a sixth year in red


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The Independent Online

Luxury brand Pringle of Scotland has posted its sixth consecutive annual loss and received a £14m bailout from its Hong Kong-based owners.

Pringle, which was bought by the textile billionaire Fang brothers in 2000, has struggled to turn itself into a luxury powerhouse like rival Burberry. The brand, famous for its diamond-patterned knitwear and twin sets, posted a £9.56m loss for the year to February, up on last year's £7.25m.

Sales shrank by 16 per cent to £8.52m for the year.

A Pringle statement said: "Sales performance continued to be affected by the global recession." But it added that it "continues to invest in the long-term development of the Pringle brand".

Despite the losses and the difficult economic climate, the Fang brothers have continued to support the brand, injecting £10m through an increase of share capital during the year and investing another £4.45m in the business since the year end to ensure its financial stability.

The brand is continuing to expand and increase its fashion credentials to combat the downturn in luxury spending. This month, it launched a Japanese diffusion line called Pringle 1815, produced by Tokyo retailer Sanyo Shokai.

The brand was founded in 1815 by Robert Pringle, as a manufacturer of hosiery and underwear in Scotland in 1815. It was sold off by Dawson International to the Fang brothers in 2000, and a restructuring process eventually led to the closure of its mill in Hawick in the Scottish borders in 2008.