Austin Reed has appointed its first menswear designer after a surge in profits at the middle market chain.
EBITDA climbed 31% to £8.8 million for the year to January 31, up from £6.7m the previous year, with group sales up 4.3% for the 13 weeks to April 27.
Total UK sales at the group, which includes the Austin Reed and CC chains, were up to £110m from £108m for the year, with like-for-likes up 0.8%.
International sales were more than £100m. Online sales grew to £1.3 million, a sixfold increase. The results are the company’s first for a full year since going private in January last year.
Chairman Guy Naggar said the business was committed to a substantial investment programme that would help it weather a more challenging market environment.
The company has appointed Ryan Hackett, previously a menswear designer at John Richmond, to increase Austin Reed’s appeal to younger customer with slimmer cuts and sharper silhouettes in its mainline. This will include a relaunch of the trend-led Red brand for autumn 08.
Austin Reed plans to open 30 stores and concessions in the UK and Republic of Ireland this financial year, including Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne, both of which will feature new storefits.