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Matalan profits soar

Matalan saw pre-tax profits rise 89.3% to £53.2 million, despite a 1.4% slip in revenue to £1.01 billion for the 53 weeks ended March 1.

Matalan said improved performance was down to investment in store design, the introduction of new brand concepts and better cost and stock control. The initiatives implemented by the management since the business was taken private in 2006 have also stemmed the rate of declining sales at Matalan.

Cash generated from operations during the 53 week period was up 104.6% to £109.1m.

Matalan chief executive Alistair McGeorge said: “The UK non-food retail market experienced tough trading conditions last year, and we expect this to remain challenging for the forseeable future. However, we have made considerably progress in implementing our plans to improve the profitability and growth prospects for the business since we took it private, and believe we now have a solid platform to manage our cost base, and pursue growth, going forward.”

McGeorge added: “Strong progress was made in improving profitability and cash generation through significantly reducing the rate of sales decline, reducing our cost base and tightening financial management disciplines. We committed over £18 million in improving our store portfolio to provide our customer with a better shopping experience. Improvements in cash generation allowed us to deleverage the business through the early prepayment of debt. We are encouraged by the results and continue with our investment programme.”

“The second half of the year delivered positive sales growth from the benefits of our initiatives, and we expect to deliver improved performance during the new financial year,” he added.

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