Operating profit more than doubled
Blooms of Bressingham has reaped the rewards of focusing on large, edge-of-town formats for the year with an increase in operating profit of 118 per cent.

The retailer said the disposal of its smaller centres caused turnover to decline in the year ending January 30 from£18.8 million to£16 million. However, pre-tax profit for the year rose from a loss of£569,000 last year to a profit of£670,000.

Like-for-like sales in the first 14 weeks of this year are 1.8 per cent down on last year, because of the late start to the season and a wet and cold April. However, the retailer said its new sites, comprising a 55,000 sq ft (5,110 sq m) centre in Glasgow and a 46,000 sq ft (4,275 sq m) location in Rugby, have increased sales by 28 per cent ahead of its own estimates in the past six weeks.

Blooms chairman Charles Good said that the redevelopment of its Bicester site is on track for re-opening late next year. The site will create more than 100,000 sq ft (9,290 sq m) of covered selling space. Once the redevelopment is completed, the retailer will be in a position to either re-develop or acquire one centre a year.

Good said: 'Our achievement in opening two major centres successfully, while continuing to manage the other centres in a difficult retail market speaks volumes for the enthusiasm and dedication of the Blooms team.'