Monsoon Accessorize celebrated a happy anniversary after returning to the black last year under new chief executive John Browett.
The fashion and accessories retailer generated pre-tax profit of £18.1m in the 53 weeks to August 31, 2013 against a pre-tax loss of £2.4m in 2012.
Monsoon toasted its 40th anniversary last year and Accessorize celebrates its 30th birthday this year.
Underlying group turnover jumped 4.3% to £551.9m. Sales in the UK and Ireland edged up to £468.4m from £466.7m in 2012. International sales surged to £83.5m from £62.6m.
EBITDA rocketed 32.6% to £62.2m, and the group ended the year with net cash of £55.4m compared with £14.7m the previous year.
Monsoon suffered the toughest year of trading in its history in 2012 when it fell to a £4m operating loss from a £60.1m operating profit in 2011.
Former Dixons and Apple retail boss Browett, who took up the role in March last year, told Retail Week: “Things are back on track – primarily because we got more right and had a nice long, hot summer.
“We worked on stock management in the summer Sale with much less markdown, which led to margin recovering year on year and better profits.” The retailer closed 44 UK stores in the year – ending the period with 355 – as part of its ongoing estate review.
Monsoon has embarked on a four-year strategy to improve its multichannel offer, enhance its international arm, improve stock management and systems and reshape the store portfolio.
Browett is scrapping the standalone store model for Monsoon, opting instead for combined Monsoon Accessorize shops. Accessorize will continue to operate standalone stores.
“We found the customer preferred the two stores together and it allows us to reduce costs,” Browett said.
To improve its multichannel offer, the retailer is piloting ordering via iPads at its store in London’s Victoria. It plans to eventually roll out the technology across its estate.
Monsoon is also testing hand-held card machines in its refitted Liverpool Street store in London.
Browett said the online business is “growing incredibly quickly, well in excess of the market” but declined to give figures.
Much of the retailer’s occasionwear offer has moved online in response to customers’ shopping habits.
Monsoon is also revamping its overseas stores. Its international business comprises 1,047 shops in 74 countries and accounts for more than half the group’s sales.