The White Company has said its latest sales performance was driven by a “strong performance” from its stores as customers returned to the high street.

The White Company

In the 52 weeks to July 31, 2023, the retailer recorded a 4% year-on-year increase in underlying group operating profit to reach £33.5m.

However, overall group operating profit declined 3% to £31.9m after “taking account of the fair value movements on [foreign exchange] contracts and exceptional items”.

Group turnover increased 4% to £289.3m, which The White Company said was a “positive outcome” against challenging economic conditions.

The retailer credited a strong store performance for its sales but said this was “partially at the expense of online trade”.

Its store estate has been expanding, as the group opened a new store in Silverburn, Glasgow, as well as a second small-format trial in Marlborough.

Due to the trial’s success, it will be rolling out the concept in the coming financial year.

The White Company remains “cautiously optimistic” for the continued growth prospects of our business.

Outgoing chief executive Mary Homer said: “I am pleased to announce that we have concluded another year demonstrating continued growth both in turnover and underlying operating profit. In a year when the economic climate remained challenging, this is a credit to all the team that works for the business.

“Our customer and staying true to our purpose always remain at the heart of everything we do, alongside providing both product and service that exceeds expectation.

“Our strategy for continued growth both in the UK and internationally is our focus, with continued investment in our digital transformation, stores and our IT infrastructure.

“But equally important is our investment in our people and our culture, as this is crucial to our continued success. I am also very proud to announce that since the end of this financial year, after a very rigorous assessment, we have achieved B Corp certification.

“This demonstrates our ongoing commitment as a business to helping build a better future.” 

Incoming chief executive and former Sainsbury’s general merchandise commercial director Paula Nickolds added: “I am delighted to join such a fabulous business with so much future opportunity.

“The White Company is strongly positioned for continued growth, and we remain cautiously optimistic despite an uncertain economic climate.”