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Intimas rejigs strategy to lift plunging profits

Intimas Group will reassess its stockist base as part of a company-wide strategic review after the lingerie group fell into the red.
Sales fell 8% to £19.5 million for the year to December 3 and pre-tax losses ran to £3.6m, compared with a profit of £1.07m the previous year.
Chief executive Carol Duncumb said: “Retailers have been hammering suppliers with new trading terms so we will have to review our client base. These figures do not reflect how well the brands are doing. Charnos is on the way to recovery and Lepel is getting stronger, particularly with independent retailers.”

Duncumb said Intimas’s “most serious error” was to leave the business with a weakened management team after making redundancies in 2006, and insisted that Intimas was not for sale. “We won’t see the full operational benefits of the new management team until the middle of this year,” she said.

Chairman John Gibson said the team had been focusing on “the wrong issues at the wrong time in the wrong areas”. He hopes to complete the review by the end of May.

One rival supplier blamed Intimas’s foray into retail for the fall in profits. “Intimas has spent its cash on the pension deficit and buying and refitting the shops, but the Nottingham store has been a disappointment. Not being in a prime site has affected its performance,” he said.

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