Premium food department store Fortnum & Mason has toasted a strong Christmas and posted soaring full-year profits.
Fortnum & Mason’s like-for-likes surged 13.4% in the five weeks to January 5 while total sales were up 16%. Sales at the retailer’s Piccadilly flagship increased 7.4%. Online revenue jumped 26.4%.
The retailer’s pre-tax profit increased five-fold to £1.8m in the year to July 2013. Sales were £65m, up 10% on last year.
Sales of Fortnum & Mason’s “world-famous hampers” were up by 15% over Christmas - the best performance in the retailer’s 306-year history.
Fortnum & Mason’s small format store in London’s St Pancras station, opened in November, enjoyed a strong Christmas, trading “significantly exceeded expectations”, the retailer said.
The retailer noted a significant trend towards luxury items, with sales of truffles up 133%, vintage port up 26% and hand carved wild salmon up 18%.
Fortnum & Mason chief executive Ewan Venters said: “Christmas at Fortnum’s was one of the best yet, both in terms of sales and customer satisfaction. The demand for more bespoke luxurious items, together with the Christmas staples, is at an all-time high, suggesting that consumers still want to treat themselves during the festive period.
“We continue to invest in the business to provide our customers with the best possible experience, both in our stores and online - another area of significant year on year growth.”
Fortnum & Mason made a “significant investment” in its Piccadilly store during 2013, including the launch of a jewellery room, a new candle room, and improvements to enhance customer service.
This year the retailer will open a new store in Dubai, and make a further “significant investment” in its digital offering to improve customer experience, service and delivery.