Retailer hit

M&Co ‘robust’ despite suffering fall in annual profit

Uncertainty has hit M&Co’s figures

M&Co, the Scotland-based fashion retailer, has reported a 40% fall in operating profit after facing “unprecedented trading challenges”.

M&Co chief executive Andy McGeoch said however that the retailer has a “robust blueprint” for long-term growth.

The value fashion specialist reported a 19% fall in Ebitda from £10.8m to £8.7m in the year to February.

Online sales were up 2% but there was a 4% drop in total sales across all channels to £202.8m.

Store-like-for-likes declined but online sales advanced 2%. Operating profit before exceptionals fell from £6m to £3.6m. Net debt reduced from £19.2m to £8.7m in the year.

Mr McGeoch said: “In the face of unprecedented trading challenges, the business has delivered a solid performance over the last financial year.

“Our low net debt, committed bank facilities and strong balance sheet have enabled us to deliver continued investment and improvements in all areas of our operation.

“Like most retailers, we are feeling the impact of the widely reported economic and political uncertainty in the UK, and while this puts pressure on margins, we are confident that we have a robust blueprint for long-term future growth to navigate these complexities.”

“A key priority for M&Co has been expanding our product range, and over the last twelve months we have successfully launched two new brands, Khost Clothing and Sonder Studio, which have not only increased choice for existing customers but allowed access to new market segments.”

The group has invested £13.7m in capital expenditure over the past two years, including an upgraded electronic point of sale system across all stores, the introduction of new software technology to improve performance in store, increased online warehouse capability, new store fit-outs and the purchase of further freehold properties.

M&Co owns its distribution centre, support offices and 20% of its trading retail estate.

M&Co has a team of almost 3,000 employees across the UK in its stores, distribution centre and support offices.

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