Fashion retailer M&Co has announced ambitious plans for expansion in the UK following soaring sales figures for the last year.
For the 12 months to February 2017, M&Co saw a 37 per cent jump in profits to £6 million, while EBITDA jumped 16 per cent to £11.1 million.
Like-for-like sales over the period saw a 1.8 per cent rise as total sales topped £165.6 million. This helped gross margins grow 21.9 per cent to 23.7 per cent.
“The high street is still a challenging environment, with high business rates, cost inflation and international currency fluctuations denting our buying power with suppliers,” chief executive Andy McGeoch said.
“However, we will continue to invest in refreshing the appearance of our stores, with over half now having benefited from refits.
“Our core strategy of taking prime positions in market towns continues.”
“Furthermore we have and will continue to invest heavily in IT to help use new technologies to drive efficiency and enhance the customer experience.”
In light of the financial figures, which M&Co says were boosted by investment in technology and advertising, the retailer has announced plans to open 12 to 15 shops a year until 2022.
“Our core strategy of taking prime positions in market towns continues. Our first-half results, in the current financial year, are showing further positive progress in like-for-like sales,” McGeoch said.
“We are actively seeking further expansion and are planning to open a further 60-75 new stores across the UK by 2022.”
The retailer shut eight stores during the period, but this was offset by the launch of 14 new stores.
Its expansion plans will focus on areas that are “currently unrepresented where we believe our format would be successful”.