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Karen Millen stems losses in 'year of change'

Karen Millen’s sales held steady, and its losses were reduced, in a “year of change” for the womenswear retailer.

Sales slipped 1.2% to £158.8m for the year to 28 February 2017, as operating losses were cut by 12% to £9.2m, compared with 2015/16.

Gross profit edged up 1.6% to £95.4m.

During the year Karen Millen appointed Beth Butterwick as chief executive and Emily Tate as chief financial officer. It also relaunched the online platform, introduced new delivery options and embarked on a brand review, underpinned by extensive customer and market research.

Butterwick said: “This has been a year of change at Karen Millen as we stabilised the business to prepare the ground for a return to profitable growth.

“The changes are already having an impact, with our new web platform driving a significant year-on-year growth in our digital business. Our work to understand our customer and put the confident purpose that she has traditionally associated with Karen Millen back into our brand and collections is, similarly, already having a positive effect.

“With more than 50% of our revenue coming from overseas, we’re positioned favourably to weather the ongoing challenging market conditions in the UK.”

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