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Garment retailer Austin Reed revives business

26
Sep '06
Garments retailer Austin Reed showed signs of recovery in midway due to reshuffling of its shops and happily beginning its second half.

Interim before tax gains of £2.3 million were obtained against loss of £1.1 million previously with increasing turnover of 6.7 percent to £56 million. Like-for-likes rose 7.6 percent and net margins rose 4.3 percent.

Sale and rental of a service centre and warehouse in Thirsk brought in profit of £2.5 million enhancing earnings. Interim before tax gains netted to £0.5 million.

Chief Executive Nick Hollingworth said that progress in products, stores and service enhanced sales and margins. Supply chain plans, less discounting and good sourcing strengthened growth.

Money management, sale and rental of Thirsk reduced group debt which was £10.7 million in 2005 ending.

Within Austin Reed, interim like-for-like sales rose by 3.3 percent. Sales in London's flagship store Regent Street rose by 13.3 percent. 28 of 46 Austin stores were upgraded by end of first six months.

At the renowned Country Casuals business, CC, interim like-for-likes rose by 10.5 percent. This business, focused on the developing ladies market, has been overhauled with upgradation of 12 of 62 stores.

In first five weeks of mid-2006, ending 16 September, group like-for-likes rose 11.6 percent compared to last year, which was encouraging according to Hollingworth. In this period Austin Reed like-for-likes rose by 5.9 percent whereas Regent Street sales increased by 16.7 percent.

CC like-for-likes over the five-week period rose by 16.2%. Strong signs of revival at the group showed up in April when Austin had rocking yearly profit and it guaranteed that the New Year had begun well.


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