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New flagship and product categories boost Hunter’s sales

Hunter’s pre-tax profit rose 5% year-on-year to £15.4m in the 12 months to December 31, 2014, as sales grew 17% to £95.7m.

The British lifestyle brand known for its wellington boots described 2014 as a “period of investment”.

During the year it opened its first flagship store on London’s Regent Street in November. Others will follow in key locations, including Tokyo next spring and New York at an undisclosed date.

It also invested in a new multi-language, multi-currency European ecommerce platform, the development of new product, key hires, IT systems and its operational infrastructure, as well as establishing a joint venture with Itochu in Japan.

Hunter, which was founded in 1856, launched footwear, outerwear, knitwear and accessories sub-brand Hunter Original during London Fashion Week in February 2014. Performance sub-brand Hunter Field followed for spring 15.

Chief executive James Seuss said: “During 2014 we made significant progress in further developing Hunter from a single product business into a global lifestyle brand. We invested in the direct-to-consumer side of the business, opening our first flagship store in London and launching a new EU ecommerce platform, while at the same time we increased profit.

“A joint venture with Itochu in Japan has given us the opportunity to enhance the development of the brand in one of our key markets, and our second flagship store is set to open in Tokyo in spring 2016.

“The brand segmentation strategy set out by the business in 2013 is now in place with strong sell-through of new Hunter Original product categories, and the introduction of our new line, Hunter Field. We are currently on track to deliver further growth in 2015.”

Hunter has been majority owned by private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners since January 2012.

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