Cotton Traders cuts 100+ jobs despite profits jumping to record level
More than 100 jobs were cut by Cotton Traders during its latest financial year despite its turnover passing £100m and its profits jumping to a record level.
The retail group ended the 12 months to December 25, 2021, with 832 employees compared to the 937 it had on its books at during the prior year.
The number of sales employees fell from 551 to 456 while administration staff dropped from 386 to 376.
Newly-filed accounts with Companies House also confirm that the firm’s turnover increased from £87.1m to £100.7m while its pre-tax profits surged from £4m to £10m.
Its EBITDA increased from £12.6m to £5.5m in the year which the business said was “predominantly related to the continued switch to online shopping but also reflects the group’s commitment to promoting the brand by continuing, and in some cases expanding, the levels of promotional advertising”.
The retailer received more than £1.2m through government funds and the furlough scheme, down from the £2.2m in the year before.
A statement signed off by the board said: “The Cotton Traders brand is well established and the group remains committed to maximising the brand’s profitability.
“The future prospects of the business are believed to be very good.”
During the year the group opened five stores but closed three, increasing its estate to 81.
The company’s statement added: “Whilst any decision to close a store is difficult due to redundancies to staff we have ensured our stock holding is correctly placed and that the business is maximising its potential.
“All staff are offered alternative employment either in another store or within our contact centre.
“Any new sites opened were carefully considered so that they did not impact on another existing site but also they have been placed in easily accessible areas where our customers can benefit from our click and collect deliver options.”
On its employees, Cotton Traders added: “The directors consider their employees to be the key resource of the business and are aware that the future success and growth of the business will, in the main, be down to having a workforce which can deliver the quality service our customers have come to expect from Cotton Traders.”
Cotton Traders was founded in 1987 by former England national rugby union team captains Fran Cotton and Steve Smith.
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