• Full-year pre-tax profits rise 28% to £91.2m
  • Total sales up 1.9% to £562.2m
  • 53 more stores to open this year, including eight overseas
  • 100 new stores planned in next two years

Fashion and textiles retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has reported a jump in pre-tax profits as it plans 100 new store openings.

The privately-owned retailer, whose fashion fascias include The Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Peacocks, said profits rose 28% in the year to the end of February 2015. Total sales climbed 1.9% to £562.2m.

The group, which has more than 1,000 UK stores, said the “expanding over-40s market” and foreign visitors drove growth at its flagship Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores.

The retailer, which also owns fashion brand Jane Norman, homewares retailer Ponden Home and golfing brand Pro-Quip, said like-for-likes were “strong” in the year but declined to give a figure.

The group plans to have opened 53 stores this financial year including five overseas, which will create 800 new jobs. On top of that, 100 more stores are planned in the next two years.

The Edinburgh Wooden Mill division saw “positive” like-for-likes but total sales fell 1.4% as it closed a “small number” of underperforming stores. Online sales rose by 15%.

Peacocks performance

At Peacocks, which has 477 stores across the UK and Ireland and operates in eight countries, sales rose 8% to £351.7m. The division has been boosted with £150m investment since being bought out of administration in 2012.

Steve Simpson, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group’s commercial director said Peacocks is benefiting from a “truly omnichannel approach comprising online, mobile and high street, as well as out-of-town stores and concessions”.

He added: “While this has helped boost sales across both brands, control of sourcing and input prices has helped deliver strong margin growth.”