Topshop group boosted by strong rise in online sales

Pre-tax profits at the company rose to £202m from £198m in the previous year

Joanna Bourke
Thursday 26 November 2015 01:37
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Arcadia said plans for this year included unveiling a new line in March-April in a joint venture with the pop superstar Beyoncé
Arcadia said plans for this year included unveiling a new line in March-April in a joint venture with the pop superstar Beyoncé

Sir Philip Green’s fashion empire Arcadia has recorded a pre-tax profit increase despite flat sales and “challenging times”.

Taveta Investments, the company that holds the retail mogul’s fashion brands including Dorothy Perkins and Topshop, said it had traded successfully across all of its UK brands in the year to 29 August.

Pre-tax profits at the company, which also owns the Miss Selfridge and Burton labels, rose to £202m from £198m a year earlier.

Sir Philip said the company delivered “a robust performance in challenging times”. He added that the performance was achieved “against the background of the fast changing retail industry”.

Turnover was broadly flat at £2.07bn, with sales at UK shops open at least a year down 0.9 per cent.

However the group said it saw a surge in online sales, up nearly 24 per cent, while international expansion also helped Arcadia. There were 34 new overseas franchise outlets for Topshop/Topman, and 45 new outlets across its other brands.

The UK store portfolio now stands at 2,358, as 86 shops were closed globally as leases expired.

The results do not include the loss-making high street chain BHS, which was sold in March for a token £1 to a company called Retail Acquisitions.

Arcadia said plans for this year included unveiling a new line in March-April in a joint venture with the pop superstar Beyoncé.

Parkwood Topshop Athletic will produce athletic street-wear in co-operation with the singer. The range will be sold in about 20 countries and has been 16 months in the making. It is the latest celebrity partnership for the retailer. Earlier this month the reality TV stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner released their second collection at Topshop.

Mike Stewart, the retail analyst at Panmure Gordon, said he thought the celebrity associations would help Arcadia to increase revenue.

Mr Stewart said: “Its partnership with Beyoncé is very exciting. She is in the spotlight right now and retailers that have had fashion tie-ups with celebrities will typically see a strong rise in sales in the following months.”

In the first 10 weeks of the current financial year, like-for-like sales including VAT were down 2.3 per cent on the same period last year.

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