Womenswear supplier Slimma, which owns Frank Usher and Peter Martin, saw pre-tax profits plummet 95% to £2,000 in the 26 weeks to April 3. The supply group also said it planned to close is private label supply business.
Sales at Slimma, which specialises in ocassionwear, also dropped 14% to £6.99 million for the 26 week period. Operating profit fell 64% to £62,000, compared to £177,000 last year.
Slimma non-executive chairman Carolyn Simons said sales in the contract design and manufacturing business have been in decline for a number of years, which had prompted the closure. Slimma supplied mail order and high street retailers.
She said: “As a result, the board believes it is commercially unviable for the company to continue operating this part of its business. Exceptional costs relating to redundancies associated with the closure will be met within the current financial year.”
Simons added: “Despite these conditions, the board are continuing the company’s strategy of moving towards the design, marketing and wholesale of high value, high margin branded products. Going forward as part of the company’s restructuring program, this will not only reduce future bank borrowings, but will also allow management to focus on the support of Slimma’s key brands.”
The company said it believed the next six months will be the most challenging for the company and the retail sector as a whole.