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EBITDA soars at Kurt Geiger

Premium footwear retailer Kurt Geiger saw EBITDA rise 38.7% to £18.8m for the full-year to 29 January, 2011 while like-for-like sales rose 16% during the period.

The retailer, which until June this year was private equity owned, reported an increase in turnover of 22.4% to £185m, up from £151.2m the previous year.

Pre-tax profit outpaced sales growth during the period up by 24.3% which the retailer said was due to maintaining overall cost efficiencies within the business.

During the year the company expanded its own store portfolio opening five new stores in the UK, including one in London’s Covent Garden, as well as opening a further 22 outlets in department store concessions. The company also continued to expand its wholesale and licensing business.

The financial results relate to a full-year period when Kurt Geiger was owned by private equity company Graphite Capital. In June of this year the retailer was sold to US retail giant Jones Group for £215m.

Jones Group, which also owns womenswear brand Anne Klein and footwear brands Easy Spirit and Nine West, said at the time of the acquisition that it planned to launch Kurt Geiger in the US as well as considering launching some of its US-based brands in Europe.

Kurt Geiger’s current UK store portfolio comprises of standalones in the UK, Middle East and mainland Europe.

It also operates 112 concessions in a number of premium department stores and department store chains including Selfridges, Liberty, Harrods and Debenhams and stocks third-party premium footwear brands Gucci, Prada and Jimmy Choo.

In August of this year Kurt Geiger launched a premium accessories range called Everything but the Dress which features accessories including handbags, small leather goods, technology accessories, scarves, gloves, jewellery and hair accessories at the same time the retailer re-launched its website to showcase the Everything but the Dress range.

According to reports, the retailer invested £4m to £5m in Everything but the Dress, with half of this being spent on the new store concept at its Grafton Street store in Mayfair, London.

Kurt Geiger tripled its advertisting spend to £3m to promote this new campaign including a revamped logo and packaging. Kurt Geiger aims for accessories to generate 30% of turnover at Kurt Geiger stores and 20% of total turnover, reports suggested.

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