All Saints’ revenues surged last year as its international business grew, but investment hit earnings at the fashion retailer.

All Saints’ total sales rose 20% to £303m in the year ended 28 January, City AM reported.

However, EBITDA slid 9% to £26m.

The fall in earnings was because of investment in buying operations in Japan, a new market for the retailer.

Overseas markets, Asia in particular, are becoming increasingly important to All Saints, which now generates 47% of sales abroad. The retailer is now eyeing a push into China.

All Saints opened 74 stores last year, including at travel locations in South Korea.

All Saints chief executive William Kim told City AM that the retailer was entering markets directly, rather than through franchises, because that model ensures control of how the brand is built internationally.

Kim said that airports in Asia are key locations because not only do they bring high footfall, but they give All Saints a stage to showcase itself to Chinese tourists in particular.

He said he will reveal plans for the Chinese market next year.

All Saints has also been investing in bespoke technology.

“We can create innovative business models, and we can be at the epicentre of digital innovation,” Kim said.

He said that All Saints’ private equity owner Lion Capital had helped the retailer take a long-term view, he added.

“We’ve never taken a decision that is for a short-term financial gain,” he said.