Jacques Vert restores dividend as profit rises

FASHION retailer Jacques Vert swung to a full-year pre-tax profit on higher margins and has resumed paying dividends, sending its shares up 33 per cent yesterday.

The company, whose brands include Jacques Vert, Windsmoor, Planet and Precis Petite, said its retail sales for the first nine weeks of the new financial year rose 3.9 per cent.

But Jacques Vert said it expected margins to come under pressure during the remainder of this financial year due to the recent weakness in sterling and increasing supplier costs.

For the 52 weeks ended 24 April the company posted a pre-tax profit of £5.1m compared with a loss of £2.9m last year.

Retail sales grew four per cent to £115.3m, after new ranges were introduced.

The company proposed a final dividend of 0.65 pence for the year.

The move represents the first dividend payout for 15 years.

It is also planning a £3m investment in its online platform and other systems over the next 18 months.

Chairman Steve Bodger said: “We are confident however that we are in a good position to deal with any difficulties that we may encounter and indeed, to take advantage of opportunities that may arise.”

Jacques Vert sales are highest in the UK, Canada and Ireland, where the firm has around 960 outlets.

One of its main rivals in the market is Alexon.