Victoria Plum has reported an operating loss of £9.1m before exceptionals as a trademark infringement knocked the etailer’s bottom line.

The £9.1m loss in the bathroom specialist’s full-year to February 29 compares with operating profits of £3.2m the previous year.

The etailer said that, during the year, it invested significantly in its infrastructure and commenced the “single biggest transformation” in its history.

The etailer attributes its falling profits to “higher administration expenses”.

It took legal proceedings against Victorian Plumbing, which the High Court found liable for infringing Victoria Plum’s trademark over a period of multiple years.

The etailer said it was forced to invest heavily invest in advertising in order to negate misdirected trade, reduce customer confusion and return customer traffic to its website.

Sales during the period came in at £70.3m, down 3% from £72.3m the previous year.

Victoria Plum will seek damages from the similarly-named plumbing company and is entitled to claim 80% of its overall legal costs.

Fresh investment

Victoria Plum’s founders and private equity shareholders TPG have decided to pump an additional £11m of capital into the business to fuel its ongoing transformation.

The Hull-based company said the additional investment will allow it to regain its market position and support its ambitious development plans.

It follows a £15m investment in 2015, which financed a new 277,000 sq ft distribution centre in Doncaster, a dedicated in-house logistics platform and a new, fully-responsive website.

Victoria Plum, which re-launched as during the period, also expanded into new ranges – including bedroom and living – and hired over 100 new colleagues.

The retailer said these significant improvements to the infrastructure of the business have created the foundations for sustainable growth and profitability.

Victoria Plum, founded by the Walker family, was named one of 10 fastest growing retailers by Retail Week earlier this year.