White Company sales and profits rise on UK strength, US expansion
In her first results announcement since staking over as CEO, The White Company chief executive Mary Homer reported sales growth and an operating profit rise at the UK-based company, although profit was only up by 2%.
The former Topshop boss said Friday (December 22) that sales increased again in the year to March 25, rising 7.6% to £198.4 million as the UK stores and website saw “solid growth, against a backdrop of tougher trading conditions.” She also said that the US website was “continuing to perform well”.
Operating profit, as mentioned, rose 2% to reach £17.6 million, capping a “record year” for the firm, although it might have been higher if not for heavy spending to position it for future growth and “the economic headwinds from Business Rates, changes to minimum wage and the weakening pound.”
The advances came after the mid-market homewares, clothing and beauty specialist opened new stores in Chelmsford and Liverpool, while its stores in Leeds, Bicester Village and Marylebone High Street, London were re-sited. It also opened a concession in Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon and it has continued to expand and rationalise its store portfolio since the year end.
All that brought its UK portfolio at the end of the year to 51 Stores (including temporary outlets) and seven concessions, while the year also saw major investments in a new web platform and warehouse management system as it continued “to develop the infrastructure required for future growth.”
Of course, the UK operation isn’t the only focus and the company is also looking at overseas markets having opening its first stores in the US (on 5th Avenue NewYork and Short Hills Mall, New Jersey) since its financial year ended. It has also opened an outlet store in Kildare, Ireland."These represent the first steps towards a broader long-term international expansion for The White Company,” Homer said.
She added that the next year will be one of “consolidation, investing in both the infrastructure and IT and also moving to new Headquarters. This will ensure we are well-positioned for our future growth.”
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