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Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group plans 100 stores after profits surge

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group’s pre-tax profits rose 25.7% to £71.3m in the year to March 1, and it has revealed plans to open 100 stores in the next two years.

The profits hit record levels for the second successive year, with operating profit before goodwill amortisation up 46%. EBITDA increased 45% to £86.9m.

Group turnover dipped 2.6% to £551.9m, due mainly to a reduction in the number of Jane Norman stores trading during the period. As Drapers revealed in June, EWM subsequently placed all of the women’s young fashion retailer’s 24 stores into administration to focus on online and international concessions.

Sales were also affected by the temporary closure of one of the largest EWM stores due to a fire. Like-for-like sales were ahead of the previous period.

EWM, which operates its eponymous stores as well as value chain Peacocks, opened 34 shops last year and plans to open another 100 here and overseas in the next two years.

Sales at Peacocks increased 4% to £324.9m, while online sales were up 221%.

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