The Edinburgh Woollen Mill group has posted an increase in profits as the fashion retailer continued to expand its luxury division.

The group – which owns brands Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jaeger, Austin Reed, Berwin & Berwin and Jacques Vert – recorded £23.4m profit after tax for the 27-week period to March 2.

Group sales for the period were £327.14m, but a year-on-year comparable was not given. For the 78-week period from 2018, sales were £935.8m.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill posted profit after tax of £12m and Peacocks posted profits after tax of £17m. During the period, Jaeger losses narrowed to £1.1m and seven new store locations were added to its portfolio.

The group will continue its strategy of building a “stable of brands that appeal to consumers across a range of different price points”.

A group spokesman said: “In the face of a challenging retail environment, our relentless commitment to customers and their wants and needs has allowed us, again, to stand out from the crowd.

“Paired with a strong digital offering, especially in the form of click and collect, customers are increasingly looking for good-quality options on the UK physical high street against the background of a number of retailers reducing their store estates.

“As we continue to expand our store estate, our multi-fascia strategy has allowed us to appeal to a wide demographic of customers across a range of different prices points; whether that is good-quality yet affordable clothing from Peacocks or high-quality signature pieces from Jaeger.

“One of our biggest successes this year has been the continued rollout of Jaeger. In the accounting period, we added seven new standalone stores to the chain, and we have added a further four standalone stores since then.

“The turnaround in Jaeger’s fortunes validates our heavy investment in the brand and our commitment to hiring top industry talent. It also validates our approach of replacing the company’s previous reliance on an unsustainable low-margin, discount-led marketing strategy with our plan to re-establish Jaeger as a badge of quality, which has been done effectively.

“This echoes our commitment as a group to ‘first price, right price’ and our resistance to an escalating discounting culture, which we have strongly resisted.

“Finally, our strong financial position, emphasis on recycling profits for long-term investment in the future, and highly effective logistical backbone continue to provide an important competitive advantage for the group, allowing us to maintain and extend profit margins at the same time as continuing to pursue new opportunities for the group as they emerge.”