The Original Factory Shop has appointed former Matalan and New Look exec Alistair McGeorge as its new chairman amid sales and profit growth.
Commenting on the appointment, McGeorge said: “The Original Factory Shop has a unique proposition in the UK retail market and I look forward to putting my experience in the sector to use as we work together to continue the company’s growth.”
The Original Factory Shop chief executive Tony Page said: “Alistair brings a wealth of value retail experience from leading UK businesses including New Look and Matalan, and we look forward to working with him as we continue to build on our proposition and bring The Original Factory Shop to more towns across the UK in the coming year.”
McGeorge is replacing the retailer’s outgoing chairman of nine years David Williams, who will continue as non-executive director.
McGeorge’s appointment was unveiled as the value department store posted a 6.3% increase in EBITDA before exceptional items to £15.1m in its full year to March 27.
It said sales jumped 5.9% to £184.5m and like-for-likes crept up 2.6% during the period, despite “significant” investment and “challenging market conditions”.
Sales were particularly strong in its men’s branded footwear department, up 17%, and in its living department, up 9%.
The Original Factory Shop also noted an improved gross margin to 45.7%, compared with 45.5% the year before.
Commenting on the results, Page said: “We’re pleased to be reporting on the continued growth of the business, alongside significant investment, within what continues to be a challenging market.
“It’s a very exciting time at the business as we progress with our growth strategy, having implemented our largest-ever store IT systems upgrade, made excellent headway with upgrading our store portfolio, and brought on board a whole host of great new brands.”
The retailer opened 13 new stores and refreshed 83 during the period. It also began the process of updating its visual identity across its store estate and online as part of its ongoing store remodelling trial.
Page said that with its “strategic growth plans”, the retailer is “well-positioned in the face of sector uncertainties”.