Disney Stores has slipped back into the red in the year to October 3 after posting a pre-tax loss of £11.3m compared with a profit of £2.8m the year before.
Turnover edged up to £100.3m from £99.8m in the period. The retailer reported a loss of £6.6m in 2007, before bouncing back into the black the next year.
A Disney spokeswoman said the post-Lehman Brothers collapse trading period was tough.
“It was a different retail environment right after the collapse of Lehman Brothers,” she said. “Revenues stayed more or less flat, which is pretty strong considering there was a huge weakness in the market.”
She added that fluctuations in the exchange rate also hit the bottom line.
She would not be drawn on current trading or when she expected the retailer to return to profitability but said: “There is a lot more positivity in the market now. We are feeling cautiously optimistic that the UK retail market is entering a better period.”
She added that Disney has “very high expectations” of sales relating to the upcoming Toy Story 3 film, adding that Disney’s Fairies and Princesses range sold well in the period.
“We deliver great value for customers and try to deliver a range of products to suit every pocket,” she said.
She added that Disney had experienced “really good growth” in online sales in the year, and is focusing on opening shops in “bigger and better” locations as Disney continues to review its store portfolio.
The retailer is launching its new format store in Madrid next week that it will replicate in stores in Milton Keynes, Aberdeen and Belfast this year, with a view to rolling out to the whole estate in the next “five to seven years”.
Disney is in discussions to relocate its central London store at 360 Oxford Street to the former Mexx store at number 350. Retailers including Desigual, Mango, Aldo and O2 are in the running to take its existing store.