Outdoor specialist Mountain Warehouse is gearing up for further expansion after reporting post-tax profits of £3.9m in the year to February 28, up 72% on last year.
The retailer, which also reported sales soared 50% to £47.5m in the year, said it plans to open a further 20 to 30 shops this financial year, after opening 30 shops last year including its 100th store in Abergavenny, Gwent.
The retailer, founded by Mark Neale in 1997, will also consider international expansion “if the right opportunity presents itself”.
Neale said the business has been helped by several factors: “Blacks closing stores has left a space in the market but there is also the ‘staycation’ argument and the increasing popularity of festivals.”
He said: “Now we have our format right, and at a time when the property market is quite favourable to us.”
In its current financial year, like-for-likes are “up single digits”, with January performing well due to the heavy snow.
This autumn, Mountain Warehouse will also launch a new higher end clothing range called Mountainlife Extreme, which will be up to double the price of its current mainline range.
“It will have better quality fabrics and higher technical specification,” said Neale. “It is intended to broaden our appeal and compete more directly with brands like Berghaus and North Face but at more accessible price points.”
Icelandic investment fund Kcaj has an undisclosed stake in Mountain Warehouse and Neale added that following the Icelandic banking crisis, the situation with Kcaj is now “stable”. He said there are not any short-term plans for Kcaj’s stake to be sold to another private equity house.