Jacques Vert pre-tax profit rises 3.1%
Retail sales rose 2.6% to £118.4 million and like-for-like sales were up 2.0%. Gross margins fell to 62.8% from 63.7% due to the level and frequency of markdown activity that the company was required to implement in the current retail climate. Margins had also been eroded by higher supplier costs.
The company said it remained cautious about the outlook for this financial year as sales continued to be unpredictable. However, it believes there will be further opportunities to develop its ecommerce business both in the UK and internationally, and that new systems implementation will open up opportunities to improve the operating effectiveness of the business.
Chairman Steve Bodger said: "With positive like-for-like sales, our brands have performed well in what has been a difficult trading environment."
He continued: "On the operational front we have taken significant steps forward and the ongoing investment programme in new systems and infrastructure will position us well for the future. I believe that this financial year will be challenging but I am pleased with the start we have made and I am confident that the business is well positioned to benefit from any improvement in the market."
Jacques Vert trades via its websites and from over 1000 High Street outlets in the UK, Eire and Canada. Its brands includes Jacques Vert, PLANET, Precis and Windsmoor.
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