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White Stuff posts profits rise though warns of slowing consumer spending

White Stuff, the lifestyle retailer and brand, has reported a 2% rise in profits and a 20% jump in sales last year but has warned the economic environment continues to “take its toll” on consumer spending habits.

The lifestyle retailer posted a 2% rise in profit before tax to £14.9m for the year end April 2011. Turnover rose 20% to £100.8m, with EBITDA rising 11% to £18.8m.

Home shopping sales increased 45% and wholesale turnover increased 7%, compared to the previous year.

In its accounts posted on Companies House last month, White Stuff said: “Trading performance since the year end has been very challenging. The economic environment is taking its toll on our customers’ spending habits in line with the majority of UK retailers. The business is responding to this through a slowdown in its UK shop expansion plans and a reduction in its cost base.”

White Stuff opened 11 new stores up until April 2011 but chief executive Sally Bailey said the company would open just seven or eight new stores in 2012.The company also said it expects earnings to be lower as it invests in IT systems.

It added that growth opportunities will focus more on selling in UK department stores, the growth in ecommerce and international growth.

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