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Sir Philip Green vows that merged Bhs will ‘make money’

Sir Philip Green expects his Bhs chain to return to profit this year - after 12 months of it trading as part of his Arcadia Group.

Bhs, which merged with Arcadia at the end of July last year, made a statutory pre-tax loss of £62.1m in the 74 weeks to August 29 2009 on sales of £1.1bn - £31m of the loss was accounted for by exceptional costs related to the merger.

The longer-than-usual reporting period for the figures filed at Companies House this week was due to the aligning of the Bhs accounts with those of its new parent, Arcadia.

Green said: “On a 52-week period it would only have been a small loss.” He pointed out that the accounts took in two summers and not the final fourth quarter of the year, when he said most retailers made the bulk of their profits. After a full year trading as part of Arcadia, Green said the chain “would make money”.

Green added that the insertion of some of the Arcadia fascias, such as Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, into 80 Bhs stores had performed “very well” and that the Bhs offer had “considerably improved”.

Arcadia fascias will be rolled out into all of Bhs’s 180 stores by the end of September.

Green added that he was scouting for other concessions to trial within Bhs. It is trialling footwear concessions including an offer from Barratts and Priceless, while Jacobson Group is also trialling 10 Lotus concessions.

Next week, Bhs will open a new-look store in Uxbridge, Middlesex, but would not provide more details.

When Arcadia announced its merger last year, Green said the group’s combined revenues would be about £3bn, and make it the “largest private player” in the UK.

In the year to August 29, Arcadia reported a 3% lift in pre-tax profits to £213.6m, with sales up 2.7% to £1.9bn.

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