Dr Martens has handed back money borrowed under the Covid furlough scheme after reporting strong revenue growth in its first results as a publicly-listed company.
The British bookmaker said it received £1.3m under the government’s job retention scheme in the early part of the pandemic, but had since returned the funds.
It came as the company reported bumper trading for the year to the end of March after shifting its focus to ecommerce.
Revenue rose 15 per cent over the year to £773m. Pre-tax profit was down 30 per cent at £70.9m, though this was impacted by costs of £80.5m related to the firm’s London stock market float.
With the impact of the listing stripped out, pre-tax profit was up by a third to £151.4m.
However, investors put the boot in to the footwear maker, with shares snking more than 10 per cent at the open this morning.
Dr Martens enjoyed bumper demand during its initial public offering in January, which valued the boot brand at £3.7bn.
The fashion retailer, which is known for its chunky boots, said the strong trading was driven largely by ecommerce.
Online revenue rose 73 per cent to represent almost a third of total sales as lockdowns prompted a shift to online shopping.
This helped offset a 40 per cent decline in retail performance as store closures battered sales.
Dr Martens said it had continued to invest in the brand during the pandemic, increasing its headcount by over 250 people and opening 18 new stores and a third-party distribution centre in New Jersey.
The company said it expected high teens revenue growth in 2022 and was aiming to increase ecommerce to 40 per cent of total sales. The firm also plans to start paying a dividend next year.
“The pandemic presented challenges to our operations and ways of working, and our priority throughout was to keep our people and consumers safe,” said chief executive Kenny Wilson. “I am very proud of the resilience, dedication and agility of our teams across the globe.”