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In-house design problems blamed for underwhelming Oliver Bonas profits

Oliver Bonas has revealed that moves to design more of its product in-house resulted in “disappointing” profits for 2013.

Sales at the lifestyle retailer, which has 43 stores, rose 25% from £18.7m to £23.3m in the year to November 2013, but like-for-likes dipped 0.1%, according to accounts published at Companies House. Operating profits declined 14% from £1.4m to £1.2m.

In a statement on the accounts, finance director Tim Hollidge said: “It’s fair to say the year to November 2013 was disappointing in terms of profitability.

“The company has moved rapidly to produce more in-house designed product to the extent that this now constitutes 70% of sales. However, this move has not been without its issues, particularly in the fashion side of the business. This contributed to like-for-like sales falling 0.1% in the year to November 2013.

“Looking forward, the company is confident these issues have been addressed and it will show additional positive like-for-like sales growth in the year to November 2014.”

Oliver Bonas employed its first in-house design team in October 2012.

Founder and managing director Olly Tress said: “We have built a strong design team to deliver a consistent on-brand fashion offer.

“We are confident that it will play its part in the company reaching our sales and profit targets.”

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