Outdoor specialist Go Outdoors’ pre-tax profits more than tripled from £1.2m to £4.3m in the year to January 3 and the retailer has rejigged management roles.
Go Outdoors’ turnover rocketed 83% to £75m in the year, while like-for-likes increased 10%. The retailer benefited from improved infrastructure after investment in systems and kept a tight controlon costs.
Chief financial officer - formerly finance director - David Hanney expects to post another “very strong” sales and profits performance this year but declined to give current trading figures.
Go Outdoors opened seven stores in the year and has opened nine this financial year, taking its store count to 27. It will open its 28th shop in Manchester next year in a 56,000 sq ft unit.
Hanney said the retailer has plenty of opportunities for openings. “Can we see capacity for 100? We think that could work,” he said.
Go Outdoors looked at options including a sale or float earlier this year but Hanney said the retailer chose instead to “concentrate on the business and roll out stores”. He said an IPO or sale were still part of its long-term ambitions and John Lovering, the serial dealmaker who joined as chairman in August, would be a great help in either eventuality.
Hanney was cautious about prospects in the face of next year’s VAT increase, rising factory prices, dollar changes, and inflation in labour costs, as well as public sector cuts, but maintained: “There are still opportunities in this market.”
Go Outdoors has appointed majority shareholder and former chairman Paul Caplan president. Former managing director and founder John Graham has been appointed chief executive.
Retail director Lee Bagnall has been promoted to chief operating officer. Commercial director Ralph Cunningham left as part of the management shake-up in mid- September.
The outdoor sector has attracted keen interest this year from private investors. Embattled quoted specialist Blacks last week revealed it had been approached by several parties potentially interested in buying it.