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Vivienne Westwood sales rise as it embarks on strategic review

Vivienne Westwood’s turnover increased 5.7% to £33.8m in the year ended December 31, while gross profit rose 7.8% to £16.6m. The company made a total profit of £1.8m for the year, down from £2.3m in 2014.

Vivienne Westwood in Cardiff

Vivienne Westwood in Cardiff

Vivienne Westwood in Cardiff

Wholesale sales fell 4.6%, while retail sales grew by 10% during the year.

The company, which produces four clothing labels, as well as leather goods, jewellery, accessories, fragrances and homeware, said margins are under pressure due to the nature of wider retail conditions, but it is reviewing pricing on an ongoing basis in an attempt to offset some of the pressure.

It is also undertaking a strategic review to create a new operating structure, aimed at optimising processes and the overall efficiency of the business.

The firm said it is investing in staff training to help retail sales and it will reposition both its main and diffusion lines to streamline the portfolio, as well as redeveloping the website.

“During 2015 we have worked hard to control inventory management and cash flow and this will continue to improve in alliance with our prudent cost cutting,” said the firm in new documents filed at Companies House.

“Paramount to the company will be to constantly improve the quality of our products as well as working to minimise the company’s environmental footprint in line with our founder’s motto ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last’.”

The company employed 274 people by the year end, up from 252 in 2014.

“The focus remains on improving the existing stores, introducing new concept designs and repositioning the brand perception of the various Vivienne Westwood lines,” it said.

The firm still has major ambitions to establish a better presence in “relatively new markets such as China and the US”, as well as increasing market share in existing territories like France, Italy and Japan.

“The policy of cost tightening will also remain in place which should maximise profitability going forward.”


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