Value fashion retailer Bonmarché is on the hunt for more stores after posting a pre-tax profit of £10.5m in its first year of trading since being bought in a pre-pack administration deal last year.
The 261-store retailer, which was acquired by private equity firm Sun European in January 2012, notched up sales of £170.3m in the 12 months to March 31, its first year under new ownership.
The most recent figures for Bonmarché before it was sold show it made revenue of £194m through 387 stores in the year to March 2010.
After completing its “recovery phase” in the last 12 months, including renegotiating the rents on existing stores, Bonmarché chief financial officer Stephen Alldridge said the retailer is now ready to push the button on expansion.
Bonmarché, which sells womensear aimed at the over 50s, is eyeing stores in major towns and cities including Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Nottingham and has hired property agent Capa to advise it on expansion. The stores will feature the retailer’s latest design and logo.
Alldridge said: “We are delighted with these results, which represent a significant turnaround in a difficult market.
“This achievement is a tremendous credit to our team and to our external property consultants Capa, together with whom we have renegotiated leases in respect of all 261 of our stores.
“Having completed our recovery phase, we are now positioned for growth.”
Bonmarché has opened new stores this year in Clydebank, Darlington and East Dereham, “all of which are trading well”, Bonmarché said.
Sun European bought 390 Bonmarché shops out of the 393-strong portfolio last year, but shuttered about 130 to “ensure that the company can be placed on a sound economic footing”, the private equity firm said at the time.
Former parent Peacocks Group collapsed into administration last year before eventually being acquired by Edinburgh Woollen Mill.