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Sales edge up at Edinburgh Woollen Mill group

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has announced a 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales to £592.1m for the year to 25 February, despite “intense competition on the high street”.

The group, which owns the retail chain Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Peacocks among others, had a 1.7% increase in adjusted operating profit to £91.5m for the year, after adjusting for £8.2m of foreign exchange losses.

Unadjusted operating profit was £83.3m, a 7% drop on 2016.

The retailer said it had “significant success” online, and online sales for Peacocks were up 23.8% year on year.

Following the acquisition of Austin Reed, Country Casuals and Viyella brands in 2016, the EWM group has continued its acquisition spree, snapping up the Jaeger brand name as well as its debt from the brand’s former owner, private equity firm Better Capital, in March.

In May EWM opened the first branch of its new department store concept, Days Department Store, at 2-5 Guildhall Square in Carmarthen, South Wales.

Further launches in Crawley and Bedford are expected next year as the retailer targets large towns and cities as part of plans to roll out Days to 50 locations across the UK.

Steve Simpson, chief operating officer at EMW Group, said: “We’ve continued to grow despite the intense competition on the high street and from the new breed of on-line only retailers. Though the Days department store concept we can bring more of the brands our customers want into a high street closer to where they live. We are constantly on the lookout for new sites and are investing in local high streets at the heart of regional communities.”


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