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AllSaints prepares for overseas push

Fashion chain AllSaints doubled EBITDA to £23.6m for the year to January 31, helping it secure further investment from Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets to fuel overseas growth.

Turnover rocketed 46% to £132.9m over the period.

AllSaints chief executive Stephen Craig said like-for-likes for the year finished 22% ahead, and have improved further since the year end, up 33%.

AllSaints, which completed a £30m refinancing deal with Lloyds TSB last July following the collapse of the Icelandic banking system and major shareholder Baugur, has secured an additional £20m facility from the investment firm on the back of its strong performance.

Craig attributed the improved year-to-date performance to better ranges and partly to the closure of its House of Fraser concessions, which it exited between January and March. Craig said the closures had driven more shoppers into AllSaints’ standalones and helped protect margins from department store discounting. Gross margin improved from 67.3% to 68.6% over the financial year.

The young fashion chain continues to focus on overseas growth. It opens a store in Boston in the US next week followed by a flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue in May. The chain will also open in Tokyo later this year.

Craig said AllSaints’ stores in the US were outperforming expectations, up 60% on sales budget. It already has stores in LA, Miami and San Francisco, and a concession in department store Barneys in New York.

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