Profits were wiped out at the grungy fashion chain All Saints last year, reinforcing why it had to be rescued from the brink of administration in the spring. The private equity firms Lion Capital and Goode Partners acquired All Saints for a "nominal" fee in May, but they had to repay £105m of the retailer's debt.
The deal resulted in the exit of the group's two Icelandic shareholders, Kaupthing and Glitnir. As part of the transaction, All Saints' new investors had to provide a "substantial equity injection" to give it a a significant net cash surplus, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
The retailer made a loss of £88,837 for the year to 30 January 2011, compared with a pre-tax profit of £10.67m the year before. Tumbling gross margins and the costs of opening stores, particularly in the US, contributed to the loss. Its new shops pushed up sales by 57 per cent to £208.55m, but All Saints had to fund the expansion with a £20m loan.
Stephen Craig quit as chief executive in September after a disagreement with the chairman, Kevin Stanford. Speculation is rife that Mr Stanford may also depart but Lion Capital declined to comment last night. It also refused to be drawn on whether the US expansion of All Saints had been put on hold.