River Island swung back into the black in 2021, beating pre-pandemic figures.

River Island exterior

River Island has been investing in its stores

The fashion retailer reported operating profits of £73.5m, up from a loss of £36.2m the previous year, in the 52-week period to December 25 2021.

EBITDA also returned to a profit of £94.8m, compared to a loss of £8.5m in 2020.

Revenues jumped 23.2% to £740m in the same period.

During the year, River Island has been investing in its stores, including the River Studios concept launched in August, and building its concession portfolio with Nordstrom in the US, and Hudson Bay in Canada.

It has also diversified its categories to include beauty and loungewear.

Recently trading had been “more challenging” owing to rising costs as well as the cost-of-living crisis, the retailer said, but chief executive Will Kernan added that River Island had evolved to be “fit for the future”.

“We have delivered a very encouraging performance this year, significantly outperforming pre-pandemic profits. This is testament to the progress the business has made over the past three years,” he said. 

“Whilst the DNA at the heart of River Island remains unchanged, our business and brand have evolved to ensure we are fit for the future. The macro-economic environment is clearly very tough and nobody is immune to the challenges that the retail sector is currently facing. However, River Island is well-positioned, both financially and operationally, to weather the economic uncertainties ahead.”

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