Overseas demand boosts sales at tailor Ede and Ravenscroft

Kasmira Jefford
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EDE & Ravenscroft, London’s oldest tailor and robe maker, enjoyed a rise in turnover and profits last year, driven by growing demand for its garments from overseas.

The 320-year-old firm, which makes clothes ranging from academic gowns and wigs to ceremonial robes for coronations, said group turnover increased 4.6 per cent to £37.3m in the year to 30 June 2012.

The performance was boosted by a 56 per cent jump in sales from outside of Europe to £2.5m.

UK sales, which make up almost 90 per cent of the business, increase by 1.2 per cent to £33m while sales to European clients rose 24 per cent to £1.9m.

Profit before tax increased to £4.1m in the period to £3.89m the previous year.

The company warned that the main challenges it faced were “competitive pressures where customers may choose the lowest prices regardless of quality and value for money” and “from shifts in fashion, particularly for our specialist products”.

Ede & Ravenscroft was founded in 1689 by William and Martha Shudall in Holywell Street, just north of the Strand, when the pair were appointed to do royal work.

Its name dates from 1902 when the robe-maker Joseph Ede who inherited the business merged with wig-maker Ravenscroft.

The group said £26m of turnover last year came from garment sales and hires while its photo services from events such as graduations generated £10m in sales. The rest came from property rental income.