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Prominent revenue soars as profit drops

Menswear supplier Prominent Europe, which operates tailoring label Chester Barrie, saw revenue leap by 11.1% to £127.9m in the year to 31 March 2017, boosted by its acquisitions and international sales. 

Prominent bought shirt business Quantum Clothing Group and Quantum Hosiery last February. Excluding the purchases, the supplier estimated a revenue rise of 6.5%.

The business said it benefited from the weaker pound in Europe as lower prices for European customers resulted in increased sales, particularly in France. 

Its European revenue soared by 30.4% to £31m, while combined revenue for regions outside the UK and Europe rocketed by 144.4% to £1.1m.

However, profit before income tax tumbled by 36.6% to £1.4m during the period, while operating profit fell by 33.2% to £1.6m.

The business said while order management and sourcing “continues to improve”, margins were hit by a stronger dollar following the Brexit vote.

Gross profit percentage for the year stood at 6.5%, down on 7.6% in the previous year.

It said it expected the coming year to “again be challenging in the retail sector”, but remained confident in maintaining its current performance levels.

It explained: “The UK business faces challenges with regards to the retail environment and economic uncertainties but continues to progress particularly through good order management […]. The European subsidiaries have developed in the past year and enter the new financial year with an encouraging order book position.”

During the year, the supplier consolidated its “level of activity” in its branded division, trouser sales and ladies workwear.

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