Sir Philip Green has brushed off a fall in annual profits at his his retail empire, which includes Topshop and Miss Selfridge, saying he could be “a buyer or a seller” of high street chains due to the strength of his group’s balance sheet.
Pretax profits for Taveta Investments, the group which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Burton and BHS, fell 3.4% to £189.3m in the year to 30 August despite a near 1% rise in sales to £2.7bnas Bhs slid further into the red. The group did not pay out a dividend for the ninth year in a row.
“Bhs remains challenging … with this sector of retail continuing to be very tough,” Green said ‘There’s nothing wrong with the products it’s just getting people through the door.” Strong growth online at the chain helped deliver a 3.6% rise in underlying sales but profit margins slipped by 1% and losses widened to £21m from £19.3m last year. He is looking at putting grocery outlets in up to 80 of Bhs’s stores in the next 12 to 18 months after he said trials in a handful of outlets had gone well.
Asked if he would consider selling the chain, which has had a number of suitors of the years, Green said he was not marketing any of his brands. But he added: “We could be a buyer or a seller. As a company we are in good shape and have got all the flexibility we want to do what we want.”
Other parts of the group had a tricky year, with underlying sales up just 0.7% and profit margins down 0.3%, despite a strong performance at Dorothy Perkins and Wallis. But online sales rose 13.4% as Arcadia worked with 10 different international websites, including Germany’s Zalando and China’s Shangpin as well as selling via its own online stores.
Along with many other British high street fashion retailers, the group also endured a tough autumn with underlying sales down 1.2% in the 10 weeks from 10 August, with business affected by unseasonably mild and wet weather.
“The retail industry continues to be fast changing, as the number of channels through which customers choose to purchase and engage with us continually evolves, thus increasing the complexity of our operations, and our need for efficiency and speed to market,” Green said.
He said he would spend £94.5m on new systems to support international development online and to refurbish Arcadia’s head office. He will also continue to review the UK store portfolio after closing 64 stores over the year, leaving the group with 2,311.
Expansion overseas is also on the cards. After selling a 25% stake in Topshop and Topman to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, Arcadia plans to open stores in Houston and Atlanta in the spring, on top of its seven existing flagships and 107 concessions in Nordstrom department stores. Green said he was also looking for outlets in mainland China and was likely to open a flagship and Beijing and Shanghai before seeking a local partner.
Topshop will also open a store in Amsterdam in February, its first wholly owned store in Continental Europe where, until now, the group has relied on department store outlets.
- Sir Philip Green's reputation ripped apart in damning report on BHS demise
- Sir Philip Green admits his shops didn't adapt to changing high street
- Sir Philip Green agrees to put £25m into Arcadia pension fund
- Sir Philip Green threatening legal action against Frank Field MP
- Tycoon fond of parties and expletives: Sir Philip Green profile
- If Sir Philip Green pays up in full, then maybe he can keep his gong
- Damaged Goods: The Inside Story of Sir Philip Green, the Collapse of BHS and the Death of the High Street by Oliver Shah – review
- MP criticises Sir Philip Green after billionaire clashes with TV reporter
- Sir Philip Green claims he invested £421m into BHS during his tenure
- Knighthood of Sir Philip Green under review following BHS failure
- Sir Philip Green launches legal bid to gag BHS-related report
- Sir Philip Green named as man at heart of 'UK #MeToo scandal'
- How Sir Philip Green can turn Topshop around
- Philip Green's retail empire faces uncertain future without new funds
- Philip Green tries to stop Topshop group falling like a house of cards
- MPs call for scrutiny of PwC auditing of Philip Green's retail empire
- Philip Green to close Miss Selfridge's flagship London store in July
- Philip Green's Topshop and Topman report £505m loss
Bhs losses hit profits at Sir Philip Green’s retail empire have 751 words, post on www.theguardian.com at November 25, 2014. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.