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White Stuff pre-tax profits plummet 81%

Lifestyle retailer White Stuff reported an 81% plunge in pre-tax profit for its latest set of results, calling its financial year the “most difficult” the company has faced in its history.

Pre-tax profits dropped to £2.8m for the year to April 28, down from £14.9m for the same period the previous year.

Turnover was down 11.4% from £100.8m to £89.3m while EBITDA fell 55.5% to £8.4m as a major infrastructure overhaul disrupted all channels of the business.

In the accounts filed on Companies House, White Stuff chief executive Sally Bailey said “the full impact of the ongoing crisis, as well as more recent developments such as Eurozone woes, renewed financial market turmoil, government austerity measures and rising unemployment have finally translated into weaker consumer spending on our products.”

Bailey added that the decline in consumer spending also coincided with a structure overhaul, which included the replacement of computer systems. “As is invariably the case with large IT projects there was also considerable disruption to all channels of the business,” she said.

“Sales were directly impacted due to our inability to fulfil demand, particularly on the ecommerce channel and there was also an indirect impact on the overall customer experience that White Stuff is so well known for.”

During the period White Stuff opened a further six stores and 20 wholesale accounts were converted to concessions. At the end of the financial year White Stuff had 82 stores and 23 concessions.

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