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Value retailer M&Co moves back into the black

Value chain M&Co moved back into the black in the year to February 2014, despite reporting a drop in sales.

M&Co recorded pre-tax profits of £2m in the year to February 21, compared to a loss of £2.3m the year before. The Scottish retailer said product margins were significantly higher than the previous year, thanks to the group’s strategy of buying less stock and achieving more profitable sales due to a reduction in mark downs.

Sales at M&Co fell by 6.3% to £158.3m, which the company put down to the closure of 19 unprofitable stores. The retailer declined to say where the stores were located.

M&Co commercial director Matt McKimmie said: “We look forward to the forthcoming year with confidence and expect to make further progress towards the profit levels achieved in the past.”

During the year the company opened nine franchise stores in the Middle East, Bulgaria and Malta. It said sales in these territories so far had been “encouraging” and it plans to expand franchise stores in further sites during the current year.

M&Co chairman Iain McGeoch said: “We have continued to make significant progress in transforming M&Co into a ‘best in class’ international omnichannel fashion retailer in line with our strategy introduced 12 months ago. We are focused on improving the experience of all customers with the continued digitisation of our store estate and the introduction of a new web platform.

“Our focus remains on designing and sourcing quality contemporary product from across the globe presenting great value on-trend pieces appropriate to our customer. Our web business continues to grow becoming a more significant part of our business while supporting our stores and introducing the brand to non-store-catchment customers both in the UK and worldwide.”

M&Co has 260 stores across the UK and 19 franchise stores internationally.

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