The Fragrance Shop has reported EBITDA of £5.1m and like-for-like sales up 9.2% in the year to March 10 as cost savings across the business led to a stronger year for the speciality chain.
Sales for the 105-store perfume retailer reached £55m for the year.
Managing director Nigel Lawmon said: “Over the past year we have taken costs out of the business, improved the supply chain and overhauled the marketing and that has all led to stronger figures.”
Lawmon would not reveal pre-tax profit figures or the previous EBITDA figure as he said “there have been a lot of exceptional costs and that has skewed the numbers”. He said this year’s figures are “substantially higher” than last year, and “the business is now on a solid footing to grow”.
The retailer’s management team has also had some fresh blood. Lawmon, who was previously at travel retail firm Alpha Retail and Debenhams, joined last year along with finance director Pete King, who previously worked in restructuring firms, and retail director Steve Thompson, who previously worked at Tesco and Littlewoods.
They report to owner Sanjay Vadera, who is chief executive of the group of companies that owns The Fragrance Shop and perfume distributor Per-Scent.
Lawmon said trade remains strong, with like-for-likes in the year to date up 4%. He said: “Customers are shopping around more but this is a benefit to us as they are finding that our prices are often the lowest.”
The Fragrance Shop plans to open 50 more shops over the next two years, and is installing a new EPoS system to further improve the supply chain.
As part of the expansion, the retailer is eyeing Northern Ireland.
It is also investing in staff training and “looking at some new store design concepts”, said Lawmon, who added that any new formats are unlikely to be launched this year.