Iconic toy store Hamleys has edged back into the black for the first time in six years as cost reduction measures last year paid off.
The retailer has revealed a pre-tax profit for continuing operations of £100,000 in the year to March 27, compared with a pre-tax loss of £4.1m the year before. The last time Hamleys made a profit was in 2004.
Turnover increased 5% to £60m while like-for-likes grew 5.1% in the period as tourists continued to flock to London. EBITDA rocketed 80% to £4.6m. Trading has continued positively, with like-for-likes up 4% in the 14 weeks to July 3.
Hamleys, which marks its 250th anniversary this year, said turnover was helped by strong performances at the London flagship on Regent Street as well as the store in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre, which opened in November, and its store in Dublin, opened in 2008.
The retailer continues to benefit from the “early stages” of its overseas expansion, having opened a second store in Dubai in March and its first store in India in Mumbai in April. It said both are performing ahead of expectations.
Hamleys chief executive Gudjon Reynisson said he is “extremely happy” with the performance “particularly considering the difficult retail environment”.
Domestic and international tourists played a “huge factor” in driving sales, he said, adding that Hamleys “reduced fixed costs and cleaned up the balance sheet” in the period, with a large proportion of the savings coming from a head office restructure in July.
Reynisson said the retailer has benefited from a “focus on delivering what’s different in Hamleys’ brand”. He said Hamleys “hopes to make a profit next year” too and predicts Buzz Lightyear will be a top seller at Christmas.