US expansion boosts growth at LK Bennett

Kasmira Jefford
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LK BENNETT, the upmarket womenswear brand, reported a 15 jump in full year turnover yesterday driven by its expansion into the US market and soaring online sales.

The retailer, which unveiled Bond girl Rosamund Pike as the new face of its brand last week, said turnover increased by 15 per cent to £94.1m in the year to 28 July 2012, up from £81.7m in 2011.

Around half of LK Bennett’s sales came from shoes, with the rest coming from clothing, bags and accessories, the group said.

Underlying earnings rose by 37 per cent to £11m in the period.

“These results show that despite difficult markets, LK Bennett has a strong positioning as the pre-eminent British accessible luxury brand,” chairman Robert Bensoussan, said.

Online sales were a major driver of growth, with its website now generating more than three times the annual sales of its flagship London store. It plans to launch a US website in the Spring. The brand has been rapidly expanding its presence in the US and opened four standalone shops last year, including a flagship store in the Time Warner Centre in New York.

It also launched five stores across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar. LK Bennett now has 160 stores and concessions around the world including 51 standalone stores in the UK.

The company is majority owned by Sirius Equity and Phoenix Equity Partners, who bought a stake in the retailer from its founder Linda Bennett in 2008 for £100m.