Value fashion retailer Matalan has blamed the heavy snow over the Christmas period for a slump in full-year earnings, according to results reported today.
EBITDA for the firm was down 7.4 per cent year-on-year to £153.6 million for the 53 weeks to February 26th 2011, whilst total revenue was broadly level with last year at £1.1 billion.
Christmas trading fell 4.5 per cent compared to the previous year due to severe weather in the UK and with significant investment made by the retailer over the 12 months profits were always likely to show a decline.
John Mills, Chairman of Matalan, said: “This was a respectable performance achieved in a challenging market.
“We continued to develop our store network and product offering, as well as growing the online offering and investing in a successful high profile advertising campaign.”
Many changes have occurred at Matalan in recent times with a new CEO, Darren Blackhurst, taking over from the departing Alistair McGeorge and the company launching TV advertising for the first time in several years.
Seven stores opening during the year, including a concept outlet in High Wycombe, as the company invested heavily in adapting and expanding it business.
The year ended with Matalan having £80 million in cash and a clean terminal stock balance, which it believes leaves it in a strong position ahead of another difficult year of trading.
Mills added: “The coming year will present consumers with further challenges to their disposable income, however we are committed to continuing to provide our customers with a wide choice of high quality products for the whole family at highly competitive prices, and I am excited about the opportunities that exist for the business.”