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Julian Charles breaks even from £2.1 million loss

SKG Capital, the family office specialising in retail turnarounds, has taken bedding and linen retailer Julian Charles to a break-even position. Founded in 1947, Julian Charles… View Article

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Julian Charles breaks even from £2.1 million loss

SKG Capital, the family office specialising in retail turnarounds, has taken bedding and linen retailer Julian Charles to a break-even position.

Founded in 1947, Julian Charles was acquired by SKG Capital during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in June last year.

In the 12 months to April 2019, the retailer made an EBITDA loss of £452,000 and was then damaged by the closure of high street stores during Covid-19 lockdowns. In the 18-month period to October 2020, it made an EBITDA loss of £2.1 million.

Under the new ownership, Julian Charles reached an EBITDA break-even point in the six months to April 2021. SKG attributed the turnaround to a strategic focus on online, keeping the retailer’s presence on the high street, the launch of new designs and patterns to appeal to a younger demographic, and the resiliency of the homewares market.

SKG also strengthened the management team with the appointment of Simon Peck as managing director and Steve Edwards as finance director. The turnaround has been overseen by SKG Partner and former chief executive of HMV, Neil Taylor.

Taylor said: “Julian Charles is a strong British brand with a proud history, amazing people, and great product, and we are pleased to bring it back onto a sound financial footing once again. There’s still more to do, but the business is firmly on the right path to further growth and in a strong position to navigate the new retail environment, both online and on the high street. We are absolutely confident in the future growth and success of the business; the first months of this new financial year are seeing us make very positive steps towards profitability.”

Julian Charles trades from 75 locations across the UK, including 41 leased stores with the rest being concessions.

Peck said: “I am delighted that we have restored the business to a stable financial position with the support of SKG. We are now in robust shape and are poised for an excellent period of future growth, with significant opportunities to deliver attractive profit this year.”

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