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River Island's mixed results prompts owners to redirect dividends

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River Island experienced a mixed bag of results in its sales and profits last year, prompting the family that owns it to redirect any dividends back to the company instead.

According to accounts filed at Companies House, operating profits for the UK retailer reached £145.8 million in the year to December 26, 2015, compared to £146.6 million in the same period for 2014.

However, sales inched up a little bit from £931.6 million in 2014 to £932.7 million last year.

The accounts did not disclose a like-for-likes sales figure for the privately-owned retailer, which has 292 stores in the UK and Ireland and is led by chief executive Ben Lewis and his family – with two members sitting on the board with him. 

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Pre-tax profits before a £29 million interest charge – which came about as a result of the Lewis family restructuring its companies in 2014 – reached £123 million for the 2015 period, a dip compared to £148 million in 2014.

Meanwhile, click-and-collect sales grew by almost 40 per cent in 2015 while mobile sales had a 30 per cent uptick.

The files also indicated that 35 per cent of River Island customers used all channels when purchasing clothing items.

RELATED: River Island appoints Nicholas Tahir as new buying chief

According to The Telegraph, last year’s financial results has promoted the Lewis family to not to take a multi-million pound dividend, as they did in previous years.

The chief executive said the board wanted to invest profits back into the business instead, especially River Island’s online and IT systems.

In 2014 the Lewis family paid itself £180 million in dividends in 2013 and 2014.

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Published on Wednesday 21 September by Elias Jahshan

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