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Sales and profits flat at 'cautious' River Island

River Island has said its outlook for the year remains “cautious” as 2016 continues to pose challenges for fashion retailers.

Operating profits at the retailer dropped 0.5% to £145.8m in the year to 26 December 2015, down from £146.6m the year before. Turnover grew slightly from £931.6m in 2014 to £932.7m. 

The family-owned company, which operates 292 stores, said there had been “significant” growth in customers using multichannel options to shop. Click-and-collect sales have risen by nearly 40% in the last year and mobile have grown by 30%.

Chief executive Ben Lewis described the results as “stable” against a challenging backdrop.

He added: “During the period we have significantly invested in our technology, people and brand. Whilst our outlook remains cautious, we are well-positioned in terms of having the right product, and offering a great experience in-store and online. We will continue to invest and innovate in the business to develop our world class multichannel fashion brand.”

The company opened a new digital office in London’s Shoreditch earlier this year, which Lewis described as a reflection of its commitment to technology.

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