Profits have rocketed at homewares retailer Robert Dyas following its acquisition by entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.
Documents about to be filed at Companies House will show that operating profits leaped from £1.1m to £4.9m in the year to March 30.
Tycoon Paphitis, who also owns stationery retailer Ryman and lingerie specialist Boux Avenue, bought Robert Dyas in July last year.
Robert Dyas’s like-for-likes climbed 11.2% over the year and total sales rose 8% to £114.4m.
Paphitis told Retail Week: “There is no doubt in my mind that in the current economic and retail environment this was a great achievement by all involved at Robert Dyas, especially when you take into account when I bought the business three months into this reported period it was 4% down on like-for-like income.
“The response from the management team, colleagues and trading partners since then has been excellent and, together with the removal of the debt burden, allows us to focus on providing to our customers exactly what they value Robert Dyas for.”
Paphitis, who is leaving Dragons’ Den, said: “Being a shopkeeper is what I do best and my success in retail was why I was asked to appear in the Den in the first place.
“When it became clear my focus and time had to be fully committed to turning around the new business, as well as pushing forward our international ambitions for Boux Avenue, I reluctantly gave up my seat in the Den.”
“As I said so often in the Den; you’ve got to keep it simple. In this case it was making sure the products our customers were visiting our stores for were in stock and available for our store colleagues to sell. We also had to be sure we were selling what our customers wanted and the Mrs P test as seen in our catalogue was great here – identifying products that were useful, practical and desirable for the customer.”
Paphitis said he has plans for strong growth at Robert Dyas this year. “As well as continuing the great work on product and store focus the launch of our new catalogue is allowing us to reach new regions across the UK, not only to grow the online business but also for potential bricks and mortar sites in the future,” he said.