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Hobbycraft sales up 12.8% as transformation continues


Arts & crafts retailer Hobbycraft has today reported a 12.8 per cent year-on-year increase in sales for the 12 months to February 20th 2011 as its first full year under the ownership of Bridgepoint saw the business generate turnover of £95.2 million.

EBITDA grew 18 per cent to £14.4 million as the fresh business strategy intended to improve the business, which is being led by new CEO Catriona Marshall, started to have an impact on the firm’s bottom line.

The transformation plan has included significant investment in a number of areas such as recruitment, new store design, IT and supply chain management, and the first new look store was opened in Orpington earlier this year.

Hobbycraft has managed to remain debt free and as of February 20th its property portfolio totalled 51, with four new outlets opening in the last 12 months.

Commenting on today’s results, Marshall said: “The company’s performance over the past year has been encouraging and reflects the growing popularity of arts & crafts in the UK.

“The business is undergoing a lot of change, as we look to appeal to new customer groups. We are still only part-way through implementing our plan with a new management team in place which has the relevant skill set and experience to drive profitable growth.”

In an interview with Retail Gazette in June, the CEO revealed that Hobbycraft wants to appeal to a younger audience and so it is redesigning its stores in an attempt to attract young mums, as well as maintaining its appeal to the core customer base of crafters over the age of 45.

She also indicated that there is plenty of scope for expansion in retail parks across the UK but that there are no imminent plans to take the Hobbycraft concept to the high street.

Marshall commented: “We want really high quality, high footfall retail parks where young mums are shopping - there is so much left of the UK we need to discover in our current format.”

Published on Monday 25 July by Editorial Assistant

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