Footwear retailer Clarks group pre-tax profits jumped 7.1% to £113.6m in its year to January 31 as its full price strategy paid off in the UK and Ireland.
Group sales rose 4.5% to £1.46bn.
However like-for-likes dipped 1.7% in the UK and Ireland. Despite the volume of shoes sold dipping 3.7% in its domestic business, total sales rose 2% due to higher average prices and lower levels of discounting.
Clarks chief executive Melissa Potter said: “The UK and Republic of Ireland has continued to be characterised by fragile consumer confidence and few signs of sustained economic growth. Our trading strategy in this climate has rested on two principal foundations, firstly a “first price, right price” strategy in our retail store distribution and secondly a more aggressive growth strategy in our online channel to build market share.”
Gross margin rose by almost three percentage points over the year. Online sales soared 28% to £58.7m in the UK and Ireland and profits via the sales channel jumped 29.6% to £18.2m. Online now accounts for 15% of domestic profits.
International sales accounted for 58% of total revenue over the year. The footwear retailer said it experienced a “more positive climate” in Asia and North America compared to the subdued UK and Europe market.
Sales in the Asia Pacific region jumped 17.7% to £136.7m over the year.