M&Co skirts retail gloom with sales rise

Fashion retailer M&Co has increased sales for the fourth consecutive year in a 'challenging' climate.

The fashion retalier reported an 18% increase in online sales. Picture: Contributed

The Renfrewshire-headquartered company reported a revenue rise of 5.4 per cent to £211.4 million in the year to February, with like-for-like store sales up 2.4 per cent and online growth of 18.3 per cent.

It maintained an operating profit of £6m and “broadly flat” earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation of £10.8m.

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M&Co attributed the growth to an ongoing programme of store refurbishment, new store acquisition, investments in technology and national advertising campaigns.

The privately owned company, which employs almost 3,400 staff across the UK, has opened 18 stores in “target” locations during the year and closed four non-profitable shops.

It anticipated a reduction in its debt level over the coming year, which it said will allow for investment in new opportunities.

Chief executive Andy McGeoch said the key to future growth was “meeting the omni-channel needs of today’s exacting customer” through digital strategy and e-commerce growth.

He added: “As we navigate the complexities of the current market and in light of recent announcements from UK retailers, it is hugely encouraging to see this growth.

“With store closures from some of the UK’s largest brands, local high streets become a more attractive opportunity as we continue to strategically invest in our store portfolio.”