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International appetite for kitsch boosts sales at Cath Kidston

Sales at Cath Kidston grew 12.2% to £59.9m in the six months to 24 September, fuelled by a jump in international sales.

Ck shop 2777

International sales grew 44.3% to £18.9m. The brand’s “tourist stores” across London and in airports and railway stations also performed particularly strongly.

Cath Kidston opened its first Indian store in October, in the Ambience mall, Delhi.

The brand’s acquisition of its Japanese franchise in September 2015 hit its underlying EBITDA for the year to 29 March 2016, resulting in an 11.3% drop, to £7.4m. However, in the six months to September 2016, sales in Japan increased by more than 30%, partly thanks to the weaker sterling. 

Cath Kidston chief executive Kenny Wilson said: “Our international stores provide a natural hedge to the weaker sterling and we benefit from our diversification both in terms of the breadth of our customer base and the product range.

“We are also seeing the strength of ’Brand Britain’, as evidenced by the outperformance of our London tourist stores versus the rest of the UK.

“In the last month, we have opened our first ever stores in India and, while it is early days, we are pleased with the start so far and see great potential for the brand there. Asia continues to be a very strong market for us and we are planning more store openings in the region next year.

“We are confident that the major initiatives we have taken, including the acquisition of the Japanese business and the new product and marketing strategy, will deliver further growth.”

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