• Boux Avenue like-for-likes up 18.9% for the year ending 28 March
  • Robert Dyas and Ryman report like-for-like and EBITDA growth in the year
  • Margins maintained at all three brands over Christmas

Theo Paphitis Retail Group has revealed robust trading over Christmas and the full year, with Boux Avenue leading the way.

Lingerie specialist Boux Avenue’s like-for-likes jumped by 8.3% over Christmas. Stablemate Ryman reported a like-for-like increase of 0.7%. 

Sales fell 2.5% at home and DIY retailer Robert Dyas.

However, margins at all three retailers increased in the six weeks to December 24 after the trio held off on discounting in the run up to Christmas.

Entrepreneur and TV star Paphitis said: “The development of Black Friday in UK retailing this year was predominantly an online event and had a further effect of disrupting the consumer’s purchasing habits which took time to recover.

“Having planned our promotions and offers, we decided to resist discounting further to protect margin and this resulted in increases in our margins across the board.

“This supports our belief that by delivering good product and customer service, together with convenience, customers will engage with our brands.

“Boux Avenue, in particular, was able to build on a very strong performance last year in both sales and margin. Our trading in Sale has also been positive in terms of both sales and margin on last year.”  

In the year to March 28, Ryman like-for-likes increased 0.6% over the year. EBITDA was up 6.1% to £10.4m. Turnover was flat at £131m across its 220 stores.

Boux Avenue’s UK like-for-likes soared 18.9%. Its EBITDA loss narrowed from £4.4m to £2.9m while profit margins increased 2.7%.

UK turnover increased 35.5% to £36.5m. Boux Avenue, launched in 2011, operates 28 stores, including its Oxford Street flagship, in the UK and 10 overseas.

Robert Dyas like-for-likes edged up 1% and EBITDA increased 12% to £7m. The retailer incurred one-off costs of £3.6m due to the commissioning of a new warehouse in Hemel Hempstead. 

Turnover advanced 1% to £125.5m at Robert Dyas. Since the group acquired Robert Dyas in 2012 turnover has increased by 18% from £105.9m while EBITDA has grown by 150% from £2.8m.

Changing customer demands

Paphitis said the group has focused and invested in “developing our businesses to meet the changing demands of our customers and the way they wish to shop with us” over the last 18 months.

The group opened a new distribution centre in Hemel Hempstead in May 2015, and implemented new systems to enable Robert Dyas in particular to grow its turnover to £250m.

The facility will also enable the three brands to “meet the growing demand for click and collect across all our shops, irrespective of brand or where the purchase originated from”.

The group will invest more in its multichannel offer in the next 12 months including upgrading tills, “giving us seamless, true, real-time multi-channel multi-brand ability”.

Paphitis said the restriction of the previous facilities, as well as the disruption of opening the new centre, will have a “short term” impact this year, particularly for Robert Dyas. However he added that its puts the group in a “good position to deliver the ambitious plans we have for our three brands” in terms of efficiency and capacity.