Dune Group’s sales increased 1.3% to £150.9m for the year to 30 January, despite the challenging trading environment.
Profit after tax increased 8% to £4.7m during the year. However, its operating profit fell 1.7% year on year to £6.6m after Dune invested in moving from a “pull” to a “push” model of buying and merchandising in its international business.
“Our international partners would pick the ranges they want but often they didn’t buy enough depth of the key styles,” explained Dune’s executive chairman and founder, Daniel Rubin.
“We have taken responsibility for the buying and merchandising of ranges with our partners, so we have built two big teams,” he said. “The results of that investment are already paying off and we think it will make us fit for the future - the stock is there to deliver higher sales.”
Rubin said the market has been challenging but Dune managed to achieve somewhere in the region of a 2% increase in like-for-like sales.
During the period, the footwear firm opened two new airport stores at Stansted and Manchester, in addition to refurbishing eight existing stores with its catwalk shopfit concept. It is now looking to the Middle East for further expansion.
“International and wholesale are the next big opportunities, with international now accounting for some 20% of our revenue,” said Rubin. “Trading in the UK has definitely picked up with the colder weather into November.”