Matalan has said it “planned rigorously” for volatile trading conditions last autumn, which helped it to a rise in EBITDA and full-price sales in the third quarter and over Christmas.
Total revenue fell 1.9% £293.8m for the 13 weeks to 25 November, compared with the same period in 2016. However, sales picked up during the five weeks to 30 December – rising 7.3% year on year to £142.3m.
Online sales surged by 24.7% during December, while store sales rose by 6.2%.
Full-price sales grew by 2.6% during both reporting periods.
The value fashion and footwear retailer’s EBITDA grew by 27.9% to £44.9m for the 13 weeks to 25 November, and by 15.5% to £22.3m for the five weeks to 30 December.
Its closing cash position improved during each period and stood at £102.5m in December, up from £99.5m the previous year.
The retailer outlined plans to enter a £50m revolving credit facility, which is expected mature in 2022.
Matalan is also refinancing existing debt through a £330m offering of secured notes, due in 2023, and a second tranche of £150m due in 2024.
Chief executive Jason Hargreaves said: “We planned rigorously for what we knew would be a volatile autumn market and have successfully navigated through a challenging consumer backdrop, growing our full-price sales, and significantly improving our trading margins and profit.
“In the run-up to Christmas, savvy customers cut through the growing promotional noise in the market in seeking out genuine value. Our offer is well positioned to respond to this, outperforming the market both in our stores and online, with all major product divisions delivering growth in December.
“As we move into the new year, we remain rigorous in our planning for what will continue to be a challenging market, but confident in the sustainability of our progress.”