LK Bennett in the red with £5.9m loss

LK Bennett update

LK Bennett has swung to the red and sales edged down in its last financial year, although like-for-likes and online sales had a welcome boost.

According to Drapers, the fashion retailer booked an operating loss of £5.9 million last year, compared to an operating profit of £100,000 for the 2015/16 financial year.

Total sales also fell by 1.8 per cent to £77.4 million.

However, like-for-like sales enjoyed a 3.7 per cent uptick and the retailer told Drapers that online sales has progressed “strongly”.

At the end of the financial year LK Bennett had 130 stores globally and online sales made up one third of its group-wide total sales, while stores accounted for 61 per cent of total sales and wholesales six per cent.

The company also incurred exceptional costs of £28.7 million during the year, mostly because of a corporate restructuring in April 2017, which had led to the elimination of most of its structural debt.

The period also saw LK Bennett founder Linda Bennett buy 45 per cent of equity in the company that she did not already own from Phoenix Equity Partners, returning the retail business to her ownership.

Recently in April, Erica Vilkauls returned to LK Bennett by replacing Darren Topp as its chief executive.

Vilkauls once held the buying, merchandising and ecommerce director position for three years until she departed in 2009.

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