Fashion and homewares retailer White Company has defied the economic gloom to post a better than expected 37% surge in EBITDA to £10.7m in the year to March 27.

The news comes as managing director Patricia Alford-Burnett steps down from the retailer to “pursue other business interests”. She will leave next spring, after five years at the helm of the White Company.

Founder Chrissie Rucker will work with Alford-Burnett to appoint a replacement and “ensure a smooth handover”.

White Company revenue was up 22% to £102m – the fasted growth rate in four years and the first time it has broken through the £100m barrier.

The retailer said a focus on operational efficiencies, stock control and margin improvement led to the “sharp rise in profit”.

Current trading remains “solid”. The retailer is “on track” to deliver further sales and EBITDA growth for the current financial year.

White Company opened 10 new stores in the period including its first ‘lifestyle’ store in London’s Sloane Square, which it said has “traded well above expectations”.

It has opened a second this month in Edinburgh.

Its sub-brand The Little White Company, aimed at kids,  performed “strongly”, aided by robust performances in clothing and fragrances.

White Company said its multi-channel approach, including mail order, e-commerce and 36 stores, benefited the business.

The retailer relocated its head office to premises in Kensington, London, in the period.

It said that while it remains a “financially strong business” it also remains “cautious of the still challenging retail and broader macroeconomic climate”.

Alford-Burnett said:  “I have had a wonderful five years with The White Company and am truly delighted with all that we have achieved over that period. I am very proud to have worked with such an iconic British brand and I wish The White Company and its staff every success in the next five years and beyond.”

Rucker said: “Patricia has made an enormous contribution to the expansion of the company over the past five years. She has led the business through very demanding times, successfully managing the challenges and consistently delivering strong increases in both turnover and profitability.

“The move of our head office to Kensington, along with the strong financial results announced today, marks the beginning of another exciting chapter in The White Company story.”