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Who owns the high street: Truworths


The Foschini Group and Brait are not the only South Africans with interests on the UK high street. Clothing retailer Truworths, which has 728 stores in its domestic market, bought footwear chain Office for £256m in November 2015. The sale followed five years of investment under its previous owner, private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, which had owned Office since 2010. 

Established by The Alliance Trading Company in Cape Town in 1917, Truworths is led by chief executive Michael Mark, who was appointed as a director of Office shortly after the takeover in January 2016. 

Profits at the footwear retailer plunged in 2016 as a result of costs relating to the sale. One-off transaction costs led EBITDA to drop 67% to £37.6m, and operating profits plummeted by 48% to £289.2m for the 74 weeks to June 2016.

However, aside from the exceptional costs, full-year EBITDA did improve. Office posted EBITDA of £32.2m for the year to 2 July 2017. 

Office has 105 UK stores.



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