Hawes & Curtis - the luxury shirtmaker once favoured by Edward VIII and the Hollywood actor Cary Grant — says more and more of its customers are going online for their garments.
However, while sales growth from its website pushed annual turnover at the firm up 4%, according to accounts filed at Companies House, the cost of investing in the online operation contributed to a drop in profits.
The company — which next week celebrates its 100th anniversary — saw profits before exceptional items fall to £870,000 in 2012, down from £967,000, on turnover of £25.7 million.
Hawes & Curtis owner Touker Suleyman, who also owns fashion brands Ghost and Allegra Hicks, said it was “an exciting time to be in this business”. He added: “We have spent a huge amount of money revamping our website and we are also opening more stores, announcing a franchise deal for 26 stores in the Middle East earlier this summer, with the first of those opening in Dubai this Christmas. We are investing in the future but that is always a costly exercise.”
In the accounts, Hawes & Curtis said it expected improved profits this year.
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