Profits soar at Peterborough's Yours Clothing as retailer fends off high street challenges
A Peterborough-based fashion retailer has shrugged off the high street woes with pre-tax profits almost doubling over the last year.
Yours Clothing, of Newcombe House, in Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, saw its pre-tax profits soar from £6,568,482 to £12,439,587 for the 12 months to February 3, this year.
Sales for the high profile plus-size retailer have risen to £105,569,422 from £88,266,955 for the same period.
The growth has been driven, says the company, by a focus on improved quality, more relevant seasonal products and better buying techniques.
But it warns: "Tighter control of costs remains paramount to continued profitability."
Founder and chief executive Andrew Killingsworth said: "I am very pleased with the results and it confirms what a great year we’ve had and importantly that we are doing what’s right for our customers.
"The results are a direct result of all the hard work of every Yours Clothing employee across the UK and Europe and I thank each and every one of them for all their efforts.
Mr Killingsworth added: "I don’t have a business without them or our loyal customers who buy our products online and in store.
"We thank them for putting their faith in us and a we look forward to many more years delivering exactly what they constantly tell us they want, which is affordable on trend clothing that fits and flatters every time."
Figures in the company's just released annual report show that sales at Yours Clothing's stores rose by 20 per cent over the year while online sales increased by nearly as much at 18 per cent.
The company last year underlined the importance of strengthening its online offering with the appointment of digital retail expert Jonathan Wall as a non-executive director.
The annual report also shows the company, which employs about 1,200 staff and has just moved into new £4 million head office and warehouse premises, has overseen a significant growth in its stores.
During the last 12 months, the company has opened 26 new stores and has also established a presence in Dublin and launched three stores in northern Germany.
The company says it anticipates that this international growth will continue in these countries.
In addition, its BadRhino men's division now has four dedicated stores with its stores growth also expected to continue into the new year.
The report adds: "The ongoing development of our 10 local language websites has continued with our key German, French and Spanish languages sites performing well and now accounts for 8.5 per cent of overall sales."
Looking ahead, Yours Clothing says it is optimistic about the future despite the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
However it warns: "Uncertainties relating to Brexit will inevitably impact upon the company.
"Brexit is a significant event for the country and all the future implications for the country, and consequently the company, are uncertain."
The company says it hopes its EU-based customers and the EU nationals who are employed by the business stay with it and continue to grow.
It says it is working with its courier suppliers to ease any possible friction at customs following the UK's departure from the EU.
But changes in currency exchange rates caused by Brexit is the biggest headache for Yours Clothing especially the US dollar price.
It adds: "We continue to take all reasonable steps to mitigate the risk with forward currency contracts."