• Toys R Us pre-tax profits soar 257.8% to £16.3m
  • Retailer’s UK profits had been in decline for four years
  • But Toys R Us remains tight-lipped on what caused the turnaround

Toys R Us has more than trebled its full-year pre-tax profits in the UK, putting an end to a run of four consecutive years of falling profits.

The toy retailer said pre-tax profits rocketed 257.8% to £16.3m in the year ending January 31 after making a £4.5m pre-tax profit the previous year.

That was the fourth consecutive year that Toys R Us profits had fallen in the UK. Pre-tax profits for the year ending February 2 2013 were £5.98m, which represented a slump of almost 50% from £11.44m the year before.

But when asked by Retail Week what had caused the turnaround, Toys R Us declined to comment.

Documents filed at Companies House revealed that turnover edged up 2.3% to £437.9m during the period.

Restructure in Europe

Toys R Us reduced administrative expenses by 9.7% from £18.4m to £16.6m, while total operating expenses fell from £164.9m to £157.4m. But staff wages and salaries rose from £40.9m to £43.25m.

The retailer’s previous string of profit drops had been attributed to it being unable to compete with online rivals including Amazon, plus the emergence into the toy market of supermarket giants including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s.

Toys R Us has restructured its European operations during its current financial year.

As previously reported, Roger McLaughlan, who joined the retailer as UK managing director in late 2011, resigned earlier this year just months after being handed the new role of chief merchandise officer of Toys R Us European operation.