Pentland Group has defied the high street gloom to report a 17.3% rise in sales to £1.5bn in 2011, fuelled by a strong performance in international markets.
The parent company of the UK’s biggest brand supply house Pentland Brands, owner of brands including Speedo, Berghaus and Boxfresh, said pre-tax profit surged 17.5% to £114m for the year to December 31, 2011.
Operating profit was down 8.2% to £101m, which the company put down to investing in new markets. It said retail turnover rose 18% to £1.035bn, which includes £122m from businesses it bought during the year. Pentland Group also has a 57% stake in sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion.
Revenue from other businesses, such as brands Boxfresh, Kickers and Red or Dead, rose 15% to £497m.
Pentland Brands chief executive Andy Rubin said the UK was “doing well” for the group, thanks to strong performances from Speedo and footwear from Lacoste and Ted Baker, which achieved record sales for 2011.
The business invested heavily in international markets following slow growth in the UK and Europe in 2011. Rubin said: “We’ve had strong growth in Asia and North and South America. China has entered our top 10 markets, and the BRIC markets are starting to be more significant to our business.”
Pentland Group made several investments in the past year, including a “sizeable” stake in women’s folding ballet pump brand Butterfly Twists. Rubin said the company continues to “look to make interesting investments”.