Matalan posts slump in growth after refinancing

FASHION retailer Matalan saw profits slump 11 per cent in the year to February while revenues fell 0.7 per cent, its accounts showed yesterday.

Privately-owned Matalan said gross profit fell to £186.3m from £209.8m over the past year despite it slashing its costs by 20 per cent to £65.8m, its full accounts filed at Companies House show.

But a costly refinancing exercise in March 2010 added £6m to its administrative costs and saw its net finance costs grow by 58 per cent to £41.5m. And it said “tough trading conditions, Christmas weather and increased margin cost pressures” also hit its profitability.

It said it opened seven new stories in the year and plans to open six more in the current financial year.

Matalan, headquartered in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, is owned by the family of John Hargreaves, who founded the discount store chain in 1985.