Mountain Warehouse celebrates profits surge
In the year to 28 February 2013, pre-tax profits soared by 75% to £7.5 million while total sales rose 17% to £75 million.
In addition to the increase in like-for-like sales, the surge in profits was fuelled by a strong performance from the retailer’s online business which more than doubled its takings.
During the year, Mountain Warehouse opened 15 new stores, taking the total to 154 at the end of the period. The retailer also plans to open at least 20 new stores in the UK in the next 12 months, creating over 150 new jobs.
Mountain Warehouse now has 160 stores selling more than eight million items a year, with the 160th opening in Richmond, North Yorkshire last week.
Mark Neale, Mountain Warehouse’s founder and chief executive, said the company was also boosted by last year’s dismal weather and the extended winter.
He said: “The weather definitely helped. Last April was the wettest for 100 years and the summer was a washout, but every cloud has a silver lining – at least for our business.”
The profits increase was despite a flood of stock being sold at knockdown prices at the start of 2012, following the collapse of the Blacks/Millets business.
Neale, who started the business 15 years ago with a single store in Swindon, said the success of Mountain Warehouse suggested those predicting the demise of the high street were too gloomy.
Mountain Warehouse tends to favour market towns and locations popular with walkers and tourists.
Neale added: “Despite all the talk about the death of the high street, in our experience there is still plenty of life in many towns up and down the country. Consumers are looking for the right products that offer great value – both on the high street or online. We have well located stores, fantastic customer service and a great website too.”
The retailer said its new financial year had started well with like-for-like sales well over 10% as its online business continues to expand.
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