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Hobbs returns to profit

Premium womenswear retailer Hobbs reported an operating profit of £6.8m for the 52 weeks to 30 March 2019, up from an operating loss of £3.8m for the 14 months to 31 March 2018.

Turnover for the period was £135.4m, an increase of almost £3m from the 14 months to 31 March 2018 (£132.6m). The retailer said this was the result of the launch of one new store and the addition of 23 new UK concessions, 10 new international concessions and the closure of three other concessions. 

In the year to 31 March 2018, Hobbs incurred £19m in administrative costs relating to the corporate sale of the brand in 2017, which pushed its operating profit  down.

The parent company Hobbs Fashion Holdings was sold to TFG London, a subsidiary of The Foschini Group, on 24 November 2017.

At the time, the brand also changed the dates of its financial year to bring it in line with the reporting of its parent company.

Retail analyst at analytics company GlobalData Pippa Stephens said: ‘‘Though at face value Hobbs’ sales growth appears lacklustre … the fact that [its] 2017/18 was a 14-month period highlights that the retailer continues to prosper despite a challenging retail environment.

“2018/19 was Hobbs’ first full financial year under its new owner TFG London, and this success bodes well for its future prospects, as its 2018/19 results report its highest operating profit since 2012/13.

“With TFG London’s other brands including Whistles and Phase Eight, its valuable experience in premium fashion will have aided Hobbs’ positive performance.”


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