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Daks restructure scores profit hike

Daks, the luxury heritage retailer, has reported a dramatic turnaround following a change of direction and cost-cutting measures implemented last year.

The menswear and womenswear retailer turned a pre-tax profit of £1.3m for the year to January 31, 2009, compared with a £6.2m loss the previous year. Turnover for the year was £17.5m, compared with £19.3m the previous year.

During 2008, Daks – which is owned by Japanese group Sankyo Seiko – closed its own wholesale business and established licence agreements with German company Odermark to produce menswear and Italian company Sabatini for womenswear.

It also made redundancies understood to total 40 staff or about half its workforce and hired former managing director David Hewitt to consult on the business between late 2007 and late 2008. Daks also axed its luxury collections to focus on ready-to-wear.

The group has continued to retail through its five stores, four in the UK and one in Germany. It said retail sales fell by £100,000 during the period because of difficult trading conditions.

John Suirdale, who was hired as Daks managing director on September 1 this year, said: “Daks is in a growth phase and I am confident we will continue to make a profit and implement further growth.”

He added: “I will be looking at new markets but it is most important now for me to concentrate on our core UK market.”

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