TK Maxx enjoys 38% leap in sales

Discounter TK Maxx, which is owned by US giant TJX, increased UK sales to approaching£500 million last year.

UK sales at the 123-strong chain leapt to US$720 million (£455.2 million) in the 12 months to January 25, 2003, this year, a rise of 38 per cent.

Edmond English, president and chief executive officer of The TJX Companies, which generated sales for the period of US$12 billion (£7.6 billion), said: 'TK Maxx in the UK and Ireland had a very successful year, bringing in sales and profits above our expectations while growing its store base substantially.'

Its store portfolio grew by 22 last year and a further 30 openings are planned this year. A source close to the retailer said TJX estimated that the UK could support a total of 250 outlets. He added that further European expansion is being considered, but that there are no firm plans at present.

UK profits increased by 232 per cent to US$43 million (£27.2 million).

The retailer said the strong performance followed improvements in inventory management, which contributed to higher margins.

Comparable sales over the 12-month period were 5 per cent ahead. However, English admitted that the fourth quarter had been tougher and comparable figures for that period were level with last year.

Fourth-quarter sales were also flat in the US and English warned that 'a weak economy and geopolitical concerns' had dampened consumer confidence.