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Matalan defies high street gloom

Value retailer Matalan has reported a 36% rise in EBITDA to £104.5m for the year to 24 February, as sales also edged up despite the “volatile and challenging market”.

Total revenue increased 2% year on year to £1.06bn and full-price sales for the year were up 11.7% compared with 2017.

Matalan had a closing cash position after full-year 2017/18 financing activities of £62.2m, down 23% on the previous year.

During the year the retailer started a chain-wide store refurbishment programme and launched a new website, which delivered sales growth in stores, and online growth of more than 30% year on year.

Chief executive Jason Hargreaves said the business had a “strong year” and outperformed the market: “Our customer-focused strategy has succeeded in growing sales with operational efficiencies allowing us to improve margins. In what remained a volatile and challenging market, customers were savvy in seeking out true value. Our offer is well positioned, providing great design, quality and value across our ranges.

“Going forwards, we expect general market conditions to remain challenging and consumer confidence to be fragile for the foreseeable future. The business also continues to manage inflationary pressures and the impact of the post Brexit weakness in sterling. We therefore remain cautious and have planned diligently for the year ahead, which has already seen high levels of market volatility in the spring.

“However, we remain confident in our strategy and the growth levers we have in place. With the commitment and hard work of our great colleagues, I am confident we will continue to grow the business and outperform the market.”


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