Matalan said like-for-like sales for the 14 weeks ended June 6 were up 8.2% after posting a strong set of results for the year to February 28.
Matalan said that the strong growth in current trading had also been achieved with improved margins.
Sales for the year ended February 28 rose 2% to £1.03 billion. EBITDA grew 6.3% to £145.1m. Gross margin for the 52 week period was up to 47.8% against 47.3% the previous year.
“…customers continue to respond well to our strategy of offering quality products at fantastic value and we believe Matalan is well placed…”
Alistair McGeorge, chief executive, Matalan
Matalan said its strategy of improving fashionability and introducing sub-brands had boosted trading and market share across menswear, womenswear and kidswear. The value chain also invested £16 million in store refurbishments over the year.
Matalan chief executive Alistair McGeorge said: “We are pleased with our performance last year given the challenging market conditions, and in particular with our ability to outperform the market. Whilst profitability has continued to improve we have also generated strong cash flows which has allowed the Group to pay down £45m of debt in the year.”
“Given the position of the UK economy, we fully expect the coming 12 months to be challenging. However, customers continue to respond well to our strategy of offering quality products at fantastic value and we believe Matalan is well placed to meet these challenges as customers continue to embrace the relevance of Matalan’s brand and offer.”
“We have a financially strong business which will allow us to invest and further develop the business. This will ensure that we continue to broaden the appeal and offering to customers, invest in new stores and start to develop new sales channels.”
Separately Matalan said it would open its first overseas stores with a Middle Eastern franchise partner and that it would continue to expand its store portfolio in the UK this year. At the year end Matalan had 203 UK stores.