Vivienne Westwood looks abroad as profits leap

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The Independent Online

The grande dame of British fashion has produced a bumper £5m profit as the Vivienne Westwood brand focuses on opening shops and expanding overseas.

Dame Vivienne's fashion company reported a pre-tax profit of £5.04m for 2012, with turnover up 18 per cent to £30.1m. The strong result compares with just £528,000 profit last year.

The designer, who has been publicly urging people to stop buying cheap clothes and instead buy fewer and more expensive items, did not claim a dividend despite the lucrative year for her business.

Not only were profits ahead it also revealed profit margins had improved to 53 per cent.

The brand, famed for punk designs and figure-hugging bustier dresses, said in a statement that its focus on retail – it has opened four stores in the past year – helped it significantly improve its accounts. It said it would pursue expansion in China and the US to help boost its wholesale division and said it "continues to remain attractive to its growing customer base".

Dame Vivienne unveiled her latest catwalk show this week at London Fashion Week where the model Lily Cole performed a "floating" dance routine as part of the show.

The group reported a loss for the 2010 financial year due to the settling of a tax bill. It agreed a deal with a franchise and licensing partner to buy back some of its stores last year.