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Aquascutum to increase wholesale by 300%

Aquascutum said it expects to increase its wholesale sales by 300% and grow turnover across all channels this year, as it reported a loss of £1.6m for the full year to March 31, 2014.

The company saw turnover decline by 23%, which it said was a direct result of the closure of three outlet stores and its strategy to focus on the elevation of the brand and a full price retail channel.

The premium brand made sales of £6.7m during the year, compared with £8.7m for the previous year, but cost of sales amounted to £2.8m, against £4.1m for the year ending April 11, 2012, according to the latest results filed to Companies House.

Despite the fall in turnover, gross profit margin increased from 52.9% to 58.1%, which was achieved through “efficient re-sourcing of raw materials and less aggressive discounting”.

Retail sales made up £6.1m of turnover, while wholesale accounted for £634,000 during the period. More than £6.4m of sales were made in the UK, with £261,000 in the Far East, £40,000 in North America and £35,000 in Canada.

The business employed 109 people during the period, down slightly from 114 during the previous year.

Mark Taylor, chief operating officer: ‘We are encouraged by the financial performance for March 2014, with losses reducing from the prior year. 

“During 2014, we accelerated our retail growth plans with the opening of two additional stores in Central London, Jermyn Street and Brompton Road and we expect to see more store openings in 2015.

“The performance in our key wholesale markets for 2014/2015 has been very encouraging, with growth expected to be between 280%-300%.

“Following the debut at LCM in January 2015, and positive reaction from the industry and media, we will continue to accelerate our growth plans across all channels in new and existing markets.”

Aquascutum will relaunch its ecommerce platform in March to include richer photography and a focus on content, so is forecasting good growth online too.

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