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Dune’s profits soar after rescue merger

Operating profit at Dune Group rocketed 630% to £7.3m for the year ended January 30, 10 months after it rescued footwear concessions business Shoe Studio Group from administration.

The acquisition also bolstered turnover by 175%, giving the group sales of £132.3m over the period, up from £48m before the deal.

Sales figures are understood to be closer to the £150m mark when annualised.

Dune Group bought the Shoe Studio business, which included the Bertie and Pied a Terre footwear labels, in March 2009 after it collapsed into administration because of difficult trading and problems at its then debt-laden parent company, the now defunct Mosaic Fashions.

Dune Group chief executive John Egan said the integration of Shoe Studio into Dune Group had gone smoothly and that sales had been further boosted by the launch of department store concessions across all of Dune Group’s portfolio of labels. The deal opened up new relationships for the company and Dune has since gone on to open concessions within House of Fraser and Fenwick.

The group relaunched its Bertie label with a standalone store in London’s South Molton Street last month.

The collection and branding have been given an overhaul and the focus is largely on casual product rather than the trend-led heels it was previously known for.

Egan told Drapers there was potential for between 20 and 30 Bertie standalones. A second was due to open in Covent Garden as Drapers went to press. Target store locations include Carnaby Street, Westfield London and Portobello.

He added that plans were afoot to relaunch Pied a Terre next year with a new store concept on the capital’s King’s Road.

Separately, Egan said autumn sales had started well, with ankle boots performing particularly strongly, and added that this season’s trends for ankle boots, sheepskin boots and riding boots meant the footwear industry would have a good season.

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