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Fat Face sales soar as it examines IPO

Fat Face’s earnings soared in the first half of the year, as the lifestyle retailer further examines its float potential.

Total sales rose 15% to £98.9m in the 26 weeks to November 30 as EBITDA increased by 57% to £19.6m. Ecommerce sales grew by 55% and now represent 14% of overall sales.

Over Christmas the retailer continued solid growth, delivering a 5% increase.

Chief executive Anthony Thompson said although festive trade came late it was a “record breaking” Christmas, with Boxing Day the biggest single sales day in Fat Face history. “It was very pleasing to see growth year on year,” said Thompson, “particularly off the back of a strong year last year.”

Knitwear was a strongly performing category over Christmas along with nightwear, outerwear and accessories. As a result, Fat Face had fewer products placed on mark-down and has brought the second drop of its spring range into stores earlier.

It follows the retailer’s appointment of financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard to conduct a review of its business, revealed by Drapers in December.

Thompson said the business was now looking seriously at options.

“We are examining an IPO in more detail and will update the market in time,” he explained. “That is not to say we definitely will [float] but we are examining it as an option for us on the back of a strong first half and Christmas trading.”

During its first half Fat Face opened six new stores and also relocated four, taking its total UK store portfolio to 208.

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