Wilkinson profits fall
The company says that rising costs, the VAT increase and exchange rates contributed to the decrease in its pre-tax profits.
Pre-tax profits fell from £65m to £61m in the year to January 28th, compared to the previous year when pre-tax profits more than doubled.
Turnover remained flat at £1.6bn. Operating profit declined from £63m to £58m and like-for-likes dropped 1.3% for the period.
The company said that although the operating profit figure was ‘disappointing’ when compared with record profits in 2010, it represents a “strong performance given the trading conditions during the year”.
In its Annual Review, Wilkinson said that its fourth quarter performance showed ‘a good recovery in late December and January after the difficult period in early and mid December’.
Wilkinson said that it will continue to focus on investment in stores, supply chain, people, and infrastructure, as well as cost reduction which has benefited the retailer.
The retailer rolled out its new branding to 80 stores last year, and said it will rebrand a further 90 this year. Sales were up 4% in the rebranded stores.
Private label sales were up 10% to £700m.
Wilkinson opened 14 new shops in the period, and said it expects to open a similar number in the current financial year.
Wilkinson’s re-launched website generated ‘huge growth’ in visitors to the website, which were up 20% in the period.
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