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Strong growth at Fat Face despite 'difficult' retail environment

Total sales at lifestyle retailer Fat Face rose by 7.4% to £238.4m in the 52 weeks to 2 June, while like-for-like sales grew by 4.9%, led by a “strong womenswear performance”.

EBITDA increased by 5.6% to £30.2m compared with £28.6m in the same period in 2016/17. The retailer reported “strong cash generation reduce[d] external net debt by £11.4m to £112.1m”.

Ecommerce sales were up 11.8% on 2017 and now represent 18.2% of turnover, compared with 17.2% last year.

Fat Face opened five new stores in the US, bringing its total in the market to 11. The business said like-for-like sales in anualising stores in the US were up 20%.

Worldwide the business has 233 stores– 216 in the UK and 17 international - up from 228 last year. 

Fat Face chief executive Anthony Thompson said: “We’ve had a really strong year at Fat Face, growing both sales and EBITDA and maintaining the positive momentum created in the prior year. This was thanks to the hard work and investment in the business over the last 24 months. Our longstanding full-price trading stance also continued to work well, especially at key trading times.

“We made further investment in ecommerce and successfully added increased capacity at our distribution centre. As a result, the business has strong foundations on which it can build in the coming five years.

“The implementation of our longer-term strategy is on course. Expansion in the US continued and the business there is trading strongly. With the initial market trial concluded, we are now undertaking a measured roll out programme.

”Our focus remains on customers and product. During the year we continued to differentiate the Fat Face ranges based on investment in quality, unique design and exclusive collaborations.

“The current retail environment remains difficult and there appears to be no prospect of conditions improving in the short term. We will continue to be focused on quality, design and price integrity and will seek to continue the positive momentum in today’s results in the coming 12 months.”





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