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Wolford full-year UK sales rise

Wolford said UK sales rose during the year to April 30, despite a disappointing first half at the Austrian hosiery and lingerie business as a whole.

Wolford said that there was a “significant” increase in demand in almost all of its core markets during the third and fourth quarter of the year.

However, overall annual sales fell in most markets due to a poor first half when shopper numbers fell off. Sales dropped in Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and central and Eastern Europe.

Only the UK, France, the US and Scandinavia reported an undisclosed sales increase during the year.

Total sales during the year dropped 2.2% to EUR144m due to the challenging first half of the year, when sales slumped 10.7%. However, sales in the second half grew 6.9% year-on-year.

Cost savings and increased efficiencies implemented during the previous year had a positive impact on the year and helped EBITDA rise by 30.2% to EUR12.5m.

Sales in Wolford’s own stores, concessions and factory outlets rose 10.1% during the year, due to increased store openings. Retail sales represented 48.1% of total group sales.

The standalone stores, of which there are 103 Wolford-owned, and 112 franchises matched last year’s sales. Factory outlets increased sales by 14.9% but sales declined with multi-branded retailers by 10% and department stores, by 8.9%. However, during the fourth quarter sales in these distribution channels increased by 3.4% and 14% respectively.

The business said that its online arm was the fastest growing distribution channel available in 13 countries.  

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