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M&Co plots store expansion as profits soar

Value fashion chain M&Co intends to open 50 new stores over the next five years, after its EBITDA rose by 57% to £9.4m for the year to 26 February.


Operating profit soared by 142% year on year to £4.4m.

Total sales were up 1.7%. Like-for-like sales also increased, the company said, although it did not provide a figure.

Chief executive Andy McGeoch said the spring 15 ranges sold well, but autumn was more challenging due to poor weather and discounting on the high street in the run up to Christmas. 

The retailer, which has 260 stores in the UK, opened two new stores during the year and relocated three to larger units. Three non-profitable stores closed.

The firm plans to grow its retail footprint by opening 10 shops per year for the next five years, starting with three this autumn.

“With the resurgence in local shopping, our store portfolio, which is largely located in prime positions in market towns, is well situated,” explained McGeoch.

“We recently opened a new store in Fox Valley, Sheffield, and have further new openings in Wantage [Oxfordshire] and Leighton Buzzard [Bedfordshire] in the coming weeks.

“We are keen to further expand our store portfolio as there are a number of towns in which we are currently unrepresented where we believe our format would be successful.”

M&Co has 25 international franchise stores in operation in 10 countries, two of which opened during the year to February.

The retailer also plans to expand its concession business this autumn. M&Co currently has two concessions in House of Fraser stores and it launched two more in Co-op supermarkets earlier this year. McGeoch said the new concessions are trading “within the firm’s expectations” adding that there was further scope to expand that part of the business. 

Another concession is due to open in Northern Ireland-based department store Menarys in the coming weeks.  

McGeoch said M&Co’s first half results for this financial year have met targets despite increased cost pressures, including the implementation of The Living Wage in April, and the “rollercoster” weather.  

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