Theo Paphitis’ stable of retailers recorded mixed performances in the run-up to Christmas as Ryman and Robert Dyas’ sales increased and Boux Avenue’s dropped.

The Theo Paphitis Group recorded an overall like-for-like sales growth of 1.7% in the six weeks to December 24, driven by 4.8% and 2% like-for-like sale uplifts from Ryman and Robert Dyas respectively.

Lingerie retailer Boux Avenue’s like-for-like sales declined 2.8% during the period, which boss Theo Paphitis attributed to sluggish footfall at “key regional shopping centres” and “some supply chain difficulties”.

Paphitis said that he had never seen a Christmas trading period “so hard and unforgiving” and that the outlook for retail was unlikely to improve in the year to come without Government reform.

“It has now become clear that governmental thinking around changes to business legislation, policy and taxation of revenues especially in the UK is lagging well behind the development of the retail sector globally, which is creating more uncertainty and risk for retailers and thus the economy,” he said.

“With very little interest shown by Government in this key economic pillar, it really does feel like retail as we know it is creeping closer and closer towards the precipice. We continue to watch this space carefully but are not confident of improvements and see it as the biggest risk to our high street and physical shops.”

Mixed results

The retail mogul’s stable of retailers also recorded sales growth in the year to April 1, 2017, driven by a 2.8% increase in turnover to £123.4m and 1.1% jump in like-for-like sales from Robert Dyas.

The retailer’s underlying EBITDA soared 60% during the period to £2.4m.

Boux Avenue’s full-year fortunes were more mixed.

Although its total UK sales during the period rose 11.2%, driven by online, and like-for-like sales spiked 7%, the retailer recorded an EBITDA loss of £2.2m.

The retailer operated 29 stores during the period and plans to open a new shop in Nottingham this spring.

Stationery retailer Ryman’s full-year EBITDA edged up 3% to £9.9m despite a 0.4% slip in like-for-like sales.

The specialist retailer’s overall turnover rose 0.5% to £128.2m, driven by its online arm.

“It is expected that the headwinds for retailers will continue given the economic and political environment we operate in,” said Paphitis.

“Despite this, there are and have always been opportunities for retailers that remain relevant and we intend to continue to work hard to achieve continued success. We are cautious, but our investment in the Group is increasing, particularly to support the areas where we see future growth.”