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Mountain Warehouse takes a hike on IPO plans as half-year sales double

Francesca Washtell
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Mountain Warehouse's revenues increased two-fold (Source: Mountain Warehouse)

Outdoors retailer Mountain Warehouse abandoned plans to float in London before the EU referendum, the group revealed today.

Despite initial discussions showing there was strong investor interest, the company ditched the idea in the early summer.

Its decision was confirmed as the better move, a source close to the company said, after the pro-Brexit referendum vote and the tumult that subsequently engulfed UK markets.

Read more: Outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse eyes £200m IPO

Over the last three months the London IPO market has been giving off mixed signals. Groups such as Pure Gym and TI Fluid Systems have scrapped flotation plans, while other companies such as GoCompare and Misys are going full steam ahead.

Mountain Warehouse posted record first-half sales today. Turnover was up 29.5 per cent overall to £76.8m, while international sales doubled and now represent 20 per cent of revenue in the year to 30 August. Online sales alone rose by 61.4 per cent.

Read more: Mountain Warehouse scales new heights after bumper Christmas

However, profit before tax edged slightly lower to £4m, down from £4.3m in the same period of last year, after the group rapidly expanded to open 24 new stores in the first half.

Half of these were overseas. The group's total stores now number 250 and another 12 are scheduled to open in the second half of the year.

Read more: Lloyds equity arm snaps up Mountain Warehouse

Chief executive Mark Neale said:

Despite the uncertainty caused by Britain's vote on its membership of the EU, we have had another very strong period of sales growth. We are investing in new stores in new territories, as well as further developing our strong online offering.

With a busy second half to come, we are looking forward to continuing to expand the business, as we seek to make our top-quality products at lower prices accessible to an increasingly international customer base.

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