Holland & Barrett has posted an “extremely strong” performance after profits and sales increased last year.
Holland & Barrett pre-tax profits jumped 13.3% to £84.3m in the year to September 2013, while sales increased 4.3% to £349.6m.
The retailer opened seven new stores and 42 new franchises in the period. It operates 664 UK stores and 72 franchise outlets in seven countries.
In documents filed at Companies House Holland & Barrett said: “Both the activity in the year and the year-end financial position of the company are extremely strong despite the economic trading conditions currently being experienced within the retail sector.”
Chief marketing officer Lysa Hardy and chief finance officer Christian Keen were both appointed to the board in the period. Holland & Barrett said: “The group will continue to seek high-calibre individuals to lead the organisation in the next phase of growth.”
Holland & Barrett said it has developed a “specialist reputation” in a fragmented market.
The retailer has focused on training staff to NVQ-level, creating own-brand products, promoting products throught its Rewards 4 Life loyalty scheme and investing in systems and IT to become a “truly multichannel” retailer.
Holland & Barrett’s parent company NBTY Europe plans to open 65 new retail sites across its UK and Ireland estate, which includes its GNC fitness fascia, in the current financial year.
The group also plans to open stores across its European arm, adding 30 new shops to its 128-store Dutch fascia De Tuinen and 10 stores to Essenza, its 13-store Belgian health and beauty retailer.