Theo Paphitis irons out losses at Robert Dyas

 
Kasmira Jefford
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ROBERT Dyas, the electricals and hardware chain, has seen sales and profits jump in its first set of annual results since it was bought by the former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.

Pre-tax profits soared to £3.15m in the year to 30 March from £186,000 the previous year, accounts filed last week at Companies House show.

Turnover increased eight per cent to £144.4m while like-for-like sales rose by 11.2 per cent compared with 2.2 per cent growth the previous year.

“There is no doubt in my mind that in the current economic and retail environment this was a great achievement,” Paphitis said in the statement.

“I believe that the improved financial position, investment in the right areas and embracing of technology will see the business prosper for many years to come,” he added.

The owner of the stationery retailer Ryman and lingerie chain Boux Avenue bought Robert Dyas in July last year for around £10m.

The 140-year-old chain, which sells everything from silver polish to irons and power drills, was on the brink of collapse in 2009 but was rescued by its lenders, Allied Irish Banks and Lloyds Banking Group, in a debt-for-equity swap.

It has come under increasing pressure in recent years from supermarkets and online retailers selling similar products, often at lower prices.

Paphitis said that since the acquisition, the group has made a “significant investment” in boosting its online and catalogue business as well as improving trading in existing stores.