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Fat Face sees sales grow

Sales at lifestyle retailer Fat Face grew 7% last year as the retailer cut its promotional activity and saw growth across all categories.

Although EBITDA dipped from £24.8m to £24.1m – a decline attributed to the tightening of stock controls and upping of quality, as well as debt payments – sales rose from £152.7m to £163.6m for the 53 weeks to June 2.

Fat Face chief executive Anthony Thompson said it had developed “very deep foundations” to prepare for what he believes will be “strong growth” when the economy recovers.

Thompson said: “Three years ago we were weak in a strong market but now we’re strong in a weak market. It puts us in a strong position for when the economy recovers.”

The retailer has moved away from discounting over the last couple of years and Thompson said Fat Face is now selling a third of the discounted products it was two to three years ago.

Thompson also said online purchases have driven top line growth, thanks to a double-digit increase for the year, and the retailer now plans to launch a mobile transactional website by the end of the year.

Bottoms - particularly coloured chinos and shorts - were amongst Fat Face’s best sellers for the year, however the retailer saw strong sales across all categories. “Historically the Fat Face business has been more focussed on tops but we’ve seen a better balance between tops and bottoms which is great for the business, said Thompson.

Thompson indicated that international expansion was being mulled as part of Fat Face’s strategy for the next 12-18 months. “We are in a much healthier position to consider international expansion,” explained Thompson.

During the year the retailer opened 12 new stores bringing its total stable to 199. It also repaid £8.6m of debt.

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