Jaeger sales fell 6.8% to £78.4m in the 12 months to 27 February.
The premium high street retailer said sales fell by 4% on a like-for-like basis, while operating losses narrowed 19% to £6.6m during the year.
Jaeger autumn 16 campaign
Jaeger closed 10 stores during the year, which contributed to a £6.6m reduction in sales compared with the previous 12 months. It says the “rationalisation of its store portfolio” is now largely complete.
Online sales increased 19% on the previous year and Jaeger has since relaunched its website – in July, new personalisation features and enhanced navigation were introduced.
Total gross margin decreased by 140 basis points year on year, which the firm said was largely driven by excess stock clearance in the first half of the year. During the second half, it reported an “encouraging” margin increase of 240 basis points thanks to higher full price sell-through on its autumn ranges.
Full-price spring 16 sales are ahead of last year and online continues to deliver good growth, the retailer said.
“There has been good progress made in reshaping the store portfolio, and tighter stock management improved margins in the second half of the year,” said Chris Horobin, who was appointed interim chief executive in November 2015. He replaced Colin Henry, who left the firm in September. “We are focused on connecting the brand with our target customers, and I am pleased our spring 16 collection was well received,” he added. “While the UK retail environment remains challenging, I am excited about the new collections and collaborations we are launching this year.”
As previously reported by Drapers, Jaeger’s owner Better Capital ploughed a further £10m into the firm during the year. The balance sheet was further strengthened by the capitalisation of £42.3m of shareholder loan notes during the year, and net debt fell from £64.4m to £22.5m as a result.