Owner of Hunter wellies and Boxfresh trainers sees profits jump 46 per cent

THE retailer behind Hunter wellies and Boxfresh trainers saw pre-tax profit jump 46 per cent to £96.6m last year, its accounts showed yesterday.

Pentland Group, which also owns 57 per cent of sports retailer JD Sports, added 1,026 new staff last year, boosting its global workforce by 8.5 per cent to 13,141, and said it “remains confident that it will continue to remain competitive”.

Accounts filed at Companies House show its revenues were boosted by £7.1m from new acquisitions in 2010. It had previously announced that revenue totalled £1.3bn in 2010, a 14.5 per cent increase on 2009.

Its profits were hit by a £17.1m charge for items including restructuring and intellectual property protection. Pentland made the bulk of its revenues – £903m – in the UK, with continental Europe its second-biggest region, making £233.9m.

Pentland is privately owned by the Rubin family, which founded it as the Liverpool Shoe Company in 1932. It now has 14 premium high street brands including licences to sell shoes for designers Ted Baker and Lacoste. It delisted in 1999, saying the listing brought it little benefit.