Whittard of Chelsea has revealed plans to launch a new store concept as the tea and coffee specialist reported record EBITDA growth in its full year results.
The retailer said EBITDA reached £2m in the 12 months to December 28 2013, up from £1.4m on the previous year. The company reported sales of £29.1m, down from £31.8m.
The retailer said core product categories performed strongly in 2013, with sales of tea up 16% year on year and speciality loose tea also performing strongly. The business said it continues to refine and develop the product range, including the relaunch of its coffee and hot chocolate ranges.
Managing director Mark Dunhill put the retailer’s fall in sales down to both rationalising its store estate and focusing on reducing promotional activity.
He said: “We closed eight stores in the financial year. Like many retailers, we have an ongoing strategy to look at the quality of our estate and when the lease comes up [we assess them].
“Secondly, we’re looking for quality of sales which means reducing promotional activity and focusing on full price retail sales. It’s part of our plans to become an aspirational brand.”
Turnover from its international markets soared 30% during the period.
This year Whittard of Chelsea opened new stores in Canary Wharf and Oxford Street. The retailer said a new brand vision and store concept will be unveiled in London towards the end of 2014.
Dunhill added: “2013 was a year of strong financial performance for Whittard. Since the brand’s acquisition in 2008, the business has demonstrated strong and consistent EBITDA growth with 2013 our strongest year to date.
“We are committed to continuing our journey from high street retailer to global, aspirational brand. We will continue to work towards our goal by offering our consumers the finest products available to us as well as seek expansion opportunities in new international markets.”