In bloom: Cath Kidston returns to profit

 
Helen Cahill
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Cath Kidston was founded in Holland Park (Source: Cath Kidston)

Cath Kidston returned to profit this year, as its polka dot bags and home furnishings proved a hit overseas.

The figures

Group sales for the year ended 26 March rose 7.9 per cent, up from £119.7m to £129.2m. International sales jumped 19.5 per cent to £42.3m.

The retailer made an operating profit of £800,000, having made a loss of £2.1m the year before. Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation soared 27.4 per cent, from £7.3m to £9.3m.

Why it's interesting

Cath Kidston, purveyor of floral homeware and accessories, has been on a mission to spread its classic English designs worldwide. It now has 219 stores across the globe, and it intends to land in the Latin American market for the first time this year, with stores in Argentina and Mexico.

Read more: It's all coming up roses as Asian private equity firm buys Cath Kidston

It will also continue its expansion in Japan, after buying back its Japanese franchise two years ago. The London-based retailer plans to open 10 new stores in Japan in the next year, bringing its total to 40.


The firm said its success was due to its appeal to a wide range of age groups (Source: Cath Kidston)

However, Cath Kidston is turning away from China. It said today that it would move its supply base elsewhere, due to increases in production costs, and set up high-quality manufacturing hubs in other countries.

What Cath Kidston said

Kenny Wilson, Cath Kidston's chief executive, said: "The buyback of the Japanese franchise in 2015 is now paying off and was a significant contributor to the international sales growth of 19.5 per cent.

"Our growing international business helps mitigate the effects of weaker sterling and we have already made good progress in growing our international footprint even further."

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