Richard Kirk, chief executive of parent Peacock Group, said that EBITDA at Bonmarché in the year to March 31, 2007 had more than doubled to£19 million over the period. He said: “It was a stonking performance.”
According to figures filed at Companies House, total sales at Bonmarché rose 10 per cent to£195.9 million – on like-for-like sales up 7.3 per cent – for the year. The value womenswear fashion retailer is on track to have 379 stores by March next year.
Kirk said the performance “represents the full recovery” of Bonmarché, which had suffered after failing to keep up with its mature customer base’s increasing fashion awareness.
Separately, Kirk said that the group’s value fashion business, Peacocks, had also performed robustly in a tough market. For the 12 months to March 31 2007, EBITDA was£64 million, up from£53 million the year before, he said.
Peacocks’ total sales rose 9.3 per cent, compared with a 10 per cent last year. Total sales were£438 million, on like-for-like sales up 1.8 per cent. The retailer will have opened 30 this year, bringing its total to 505 stores by March 2009.
Kirk said both retailers – which together experienced a 22 per cent EBITDA increase to£76 million in the year, including£7 million costs – had managed to differentiate themselves from Primark and the supermarkets.
Peacocks has boosted its fashion credentials and moved away from the entry prices favoured by the supermarkets and Primark, while Bonmarché has occupied a niche positioning as a retailer of older women’s clothing.
Peacocks, which has put a potential£800 million sale or refinancing on hold due to the credit crunch, will open between eight and 10 stores internationally in the year to March 2009.