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Matalan profits rise

Discount retailer Matalan, which was taken private in a deal worth more than £800 last year, has revealed an 8.5% increase in pre-tax profits.

The retailer grew profits to £28.1m during the year to February 24, a period which included the first two months of trading as a private company. However, turnover fell 2.6% to £1.03 billion over the same period.

Matalan chief executive Alistair McGeorge told The Daily Telegraph that the group's debt repayments were ahead of schedule.

He added: "Whilst last year remained difficult, currently we are well ahead of delivering our plan."

He said that the retailer's 24 new format stores were delivering strong like-for-like sales and added: "We have invested significantly in our stores and we plan to accelerate our store investment programme in the new year. Costs and cashflow are under far better control."

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