TM Lewin has embarked on an ambitious international expansion plan with a focus on South Africa and India after first-half profits rose.
The shirtmaker has unveiled plans to open at least one new store or concession every week for the next three years.
The retailer, which has 58 stores and online businesses overseas in markets including Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, will open just over half of the shops in South Africa and India with 46 and 35 stores respectively.
The remainder will be spread across the Far East, including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines; the Middle East in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as planned openings in Nigeria and the Czech Republic.
TM Lewin is also looking at potential expansion into China, Japan and the United States.
The retailer today reported that sales in its year to March 2, 2013 edged up to £106.7m from £106.5m the prior year. EBITDA in the year dropped to £10.1m from £12m in 2012 after TM Lewin invested in its infrastructure and expanding its womenswear offer.
However, the retailer said sales for the first six months of the current year were up 4% aided by the improved womenswear range. EBITDA was up 77% in the half.
TM Lewin has 91 UK stores and said its domestic arm, which accounts for 81% of sales, remains the “bedrock” of the business. The retailer said it has introduced iPads in store to allow shoppers to buy from an extended range online.
TM Lewin chief executive Geoff Quinn said: “We have received a fantastic reception in many of our new store openings around the world. Clearly our brand is well known within the international business community and this has given us a lot of confidence with our plans.
“We are really pleased with our performance to date. Following on from a period of higher input costs which impacted margins, we have had a great bounce back primarily driven by very strong online sales and a whole new range of product that has caught the imagination of our customers. We are very excited about our international expansion and the opportunities it will bring.”
In July, TM Lewin hired accountancy firm KPMG to lead a sale of the business, which could value it at more than £100m.