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Sales surge 34% at Isabella Oliver

Maternity and womenswear etailer Isabella Oliver reported 34% year-on-year sales growth to £13m for the year to the end of September 2012.

It did not reveal a profit figure but co-founder Geoff van Sonsbeeck said EBITDA showed single-digit profit, which he described as “very positive” compared with 2011’s double-digit loss.
“Everything we wanted to do in the last financial year in terms of cost savings and keeping our margins higher has now come to fruition,” he said.

Van Sonsbeeck explained that margins had been kept higher as the business had focused on a policy of discounting less rather than putting up prices.

“We haven’t wanted to pass price increases on to our customer so we’ve focused a lot on buying better and negotiating with suppliers,” he said.

For autumn 12, the etailer rebranded its Isabella Oliver 365 ready-to-wear label as Baukjen in order to distinguish it from the maternity line. Van Sonsbeeck said the possibility of wholesaling Baukjen was being explored, but this would not happen before autumn 13.

“We want to focus on our direct channels at the moment as there are certain changes we would need to make to parts of the collection in order to make it suitable for wholesale,” he said.

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