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Harrods has record year

Iconic department store Harrods has reported a record year after a strong performance from its international brands and womenswear.

The Knightsbridge retailer said sales soared 9% to hit a record £751.7m in the year to January 31.

In figures filed at Companies House today, Harrods said that pre-tax profit was £56.2m versus £55.4m the year before. Gross profit margin was in line with last year and Harrods said sales had remained “strong” since the year end.

The retailer added that take up of it’s loyalty card scheme had been strong over the period and that it had benefitted from investment in the store and in new brands and shop-fits.

Capital expenditure at the store over the year was £24m, versus £16m the year before.

During the year, Harrods opened its Terminal 5 store and capital was spent on improving its warehousing operations.

During 2009, Harrods will complete the 18-month revamp of its menswear floors and continue refurbishing the store’s terracotta facades.

In the document Harrods said: “With the very volatile economy and trading conditions, the group has continued to adopt a cautious approach to managing costs and to conserving liquidity.

“The adverse impact of the high level of inflation during the year, energy price increases and the sudden fall in the value of the pound seen in the first half of the year has in part been mitigated by a constant focus on costs and margins, including negotiations to hold or reduce costs as inflation subsided in the fourth quarter and beyond.”

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