Hamleys proves its worth to the French as profits leap to £2.3m

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The Independent Online

Hamleys has shown why a French company paid £60m in September for the Regent Street-based toy chain by posting a huge leap in profits.

The retailer, which is 252 years old, also said it plans to continue its expansion in 2013 under its new owner, the toy specialist Groupe Ludendo, after opening a Hamleys shop in Cardiff in November and eight stores overseas in the past year. These included its first store in Russia, as well as shops in India, Sweden and the Middle East, to take its total outside the UK and Ireland to 20.

Hamleys' chief executive, Gudjon Reynisson, said: "Groupe Ludendo is a strong partner for Hamleys."

The retailer increased its pre-tax profits by more than 250 per cent to £2.3m in the 53 weeks to 31 March, driven by a 6.3 per cent leap in underlying sales.