Homewares retailer Lakeland, darling of the middle classes, has more than doubled its full-year profits after cutting costs and focusing on product innovation.
Lakeland, famed for innovative products such as poach pods and pineapple peelers, reported pre-tax profits of £10.1m in the year to December 31, compared with £4.2m the previous year. Turnover rose 5.3% to £141.9m.
The retailer declined to give like-for-like figures or update on current trading, but said that, while remaining cautious regarding the economic environment, it expects a record year for turnover this year.
Lakeland director Julian Rayner said: “The results are very good. After the fallout in 2008 with Lehman Brothers closing, we realised it would carry on for a long time and we looked at our housekeeping. We looked at better buying, shopfitting costs, and we paid off debt. We were just being prudent.”
He added: “This year will be tough. We’ve had periods of growth and flat sales. But we still have the crucial Christmas period to come.”
Lakeland finance and retail director Bob Granger said: “This year will be a record year for turnover, but we are not complacent. We’re cautious. We’re in the same boat as every retailer.”
Lakeland will drive turnover this year through store openings. It expects to open seven this year, taking its store count to 51.
Granger said the retailer benefited from the “fundamentals” of its good customer service and product offering.
“We offer quality and innovation, with new creative products,” said Granger, highlighting a big seller last year, the poach pod, which poaches eggs. He added that kitchenware essentials did well as well as Lakeland own brand. “People trust Lakeland quality,” he said.