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Harvey Nichols' revamp bites into bottom line

Luxury retailer Harvey Nichols has posted a £6.7m loss before tax for its latest financial year, as ongoing refurbishment at its Knightsbridge flagship continues to eat into profits.

EBITDA before exceptional items slumped by 39% to £7.3m for the year to 1 April 2017, from £12m. The group said was a direct result of its ongoing refurbishment.

Turnover remained flat at £194m, compared with the previous year.

Meanwhile, the group said it will also open in Qatar next year with a launch in Doha, bringing its total international store count to eight.

Stacey Cartwright, who is taking up the role of deputy chairman at the department store at the start of next year, has been leading the revamp as its chief executive.

Cartwright said: “This was a challenging year for the group as we were undertaking the most demanding phase of our Knightsbridge store refurbishment.

She added the group has received “excellent customer and industry reaction” to its expanded beauty, accessories and fine jewellery offering, after completing the full refurbishment of the ground floor during the period.

The next stage of refurbishment at the Knightsbridge flagship store is set to begin in the spring, covering its first floor. The level houses womenswear international designers, contemporary collections and designer shoes. 

The retailer refurbished its two menswear floors in April 2016, and unveiled its ground-floor revamp in November last year.

The department store said its new ground floor is seeing strong sales growth, with beauty “significantly outperforming the market rate of growth”. It highlighted its partnership with Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line , which debuted in September, as its most successful beauty launch to date.



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