Jigsaw sinks to £7.3m loss as margins tumble

Losses nearly doubled at the group which owns the Jigsaw and Kew fashion stores last year, as margins fell and it restructured its operations. The recession forced Robinson Webster, the holding company behind the two chains, to consolidate its number of warehouses and stores, as well as slash its headcount and staffing costs by more than £2m to £19.1m.

The group posted a pre-tax loss of £7.3m for the 53 weeks to 3 October 2009, compared to £3.7m the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House yesterday. But the group, which said it was debt free, expects its results for the year ending this October will be "significantly improved".

Jigsaw, which has 45 stores, blamed the fall in "achieved margin" on currency movements, discounting and the disposal of excess stock from prior seasons. The retailer remains committed to opening on the east coast of the US, adding to its seven shop operation in the country.