Most challenging year for fashion brand
Fashion retailer Monsoon has revealed a 2 per cent dip in profits after what chairman Peter Simon described as 'the most challenging year in the company's history'.

Pre-tax profit before exceptionals was£58 million for the year to May 27.

Like-for-like sales were maintained over the year, but were down 7 per cent for the first seven weeks of the new financial year. Total sales for the seven weeks to July 15 are down 24 per cent.

The retailer has launched an operational review to 'reduce costs and restore growth'.

Monsoon took on debt for the first time in its 30-year history after investing£75.5 million in the business.

Over the course of the year, 61 stores opened in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and 117 outlets internationally. The group said that because of tough trading conditions, integrating the 43 stores acquired from Etam had proved more complex that originally thought.

Monsoon issued a profit warning in March, when it also announced that chairman Peter Simon was withdrawing his interest in purchasing the 24.6 per cent share not already owned by his family and taking the business private.