Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Profits climb at Kurt Geiger

Towering heels, celebrity endorsements and midnight shopping helped Kurt Geiger to grow operating profits 21% to £11.5m in the year to January 31 - but the footwear retailer has denied sale rumours.

Like-for-like sales increased 8% over the period and turnover grew 17% to £163m as Kurt Geiger opened 12 new standalones worldwide, bringing its total portfolio of bricks and mortar stores to 63.

Chief executive Neil Clifford said: “This year we employed 275 new people across the company. That’s one of the things we are most proud of, especially in this economic environment.”

He also told the Times that Graphite Capital, the private equity firm which in 2008 backed a £95m management buyout of Kurt Geiger, was not planning to sell the business - despite speculation to the contrary.

There is increasing market talk that Kurt Geiger is poised to become the latest in a rash of footwear retailers to be put on the block.

High street chains Office and Jones Bootmaker were both put up for sale this summer, with respective price tags of £200m and £50m. Meanwhile Towerbrook Capital, the private equity company which owns Jimmy Choo is weighing up a potential sale or IPO for the premium footwear brand and retailer.

Kurt Geiger plans to open a further five stores before Christmas and to launch 40 new stores in the UK over the next five years.

Its current store portfolio comprises 43 standalones in the UK, 10 in the Middle East and 10 in mainland Europe. It also operates 112 concessions in a number of premium department stores and department store chains includingSelfridges, Liberty, Harrods and Debenhams and stocks third-party premium footwear brands Gucci, Prada and Jimmy Choo.

The retailer attributed the strong growth in operating profit and like-for-like sales to its statement shoe offer and the trend for very high heels.

“A popular personality wearing the best statement shoe in the media translates into immediate sales,” said Rebecca Farrar-Hockley, buying and creative director at Kurt Geiger.

Kurt Geiger increases retail prices by 20% for every additional centimetre of heel. Celebrity fans of its shoes include singers Katy Perry and Cheryl Cole.

Sales in Kurt Geiger’s concessions in premium London department stores Harrods, Liberty and Selfridges were particularly strong, the retailer added. Its average selling price for a pair of shoes in the capital was £230 compared to £180 elsewhere.

Graphite Capital did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.