Samantha Cameron firm Smythson in the red after expansion

  • @LauraHChesters

Smythson, the leather goods and stationery brand that counts Samantha Cameron as a consultant, went into the red this year due to the costs of expanding.

The group, which has also stepped up its fashion credentials by launching new lines of accessories, reported a £1.6m loss for the year to April – down from a £1.4m profit for the previous year. Sales jumped 3.65 per cent to £28.4m.

The 125-year-old group, which opened a store in Hong Kong in June, said it plans to continue to invest in the UK luxury goods sector as well as expand in Asia and the US. Right, Ms Cameron, third from left, at the Hong Kong launch.

The brand, popular with stars including Kate Bosworth, Miranda Kerr and Florence Welch, said the loss is due to "investment in infrastructure, digital, and marketing strategy" and added: "The increased sales are very positive in a challenging UK retail market."