Menswear business Hawes & Curtis fell into the red last year after it suffered from “difficult trading” in the UK.
Sales were down 4% to £25.6m for the year to 31 December, compared with the year before.
Like-for-like sales dropped 3%, compared with a 3% increase in 2014. It put this down to a tough retail environment and particularly a “downturn” in the wholesale market.
Hawes & Curtis, which is owned by Touker Suleyman, made an operating loss of £776,000 compared with a profit of £929,000 as gross margin profit slipped 1%. It expects profitability to improve in 2016.
Most of the company’s business is conducted in the UK, which generates sales of £25.3m of sales. Its second-largest market, Germany, totals £277,000.
Hawes & Curtis said it will accelerate its international expansion, in the US in particular, to try to return to growth in the current financial year.
“During 2016 the external commercial environment is expected to remain very competitive and challenging for all retailer in the UK, hence directors will try to grow the overseas markets, particularly in the US through online and other channels,” a Companies House filing stated.
“Within this environment, the positioning of the group’s products depends upon their exemplary quality and innovation with appropriate and competitive pricing, as well as the Hawes & Curtis brand image. The directors remain confident the group will be successful in positioning itself within this environment, and we will continue to expand and keep the group profitable.”