Low prices help Matalan boost profits


Matalan is the latest fashion retailer to defy the gloom in the sector, with a 50 per cent rise in profits.

The privately owned discount fashion and homeware chain said that its annual pre-tax profit had risen to £30.1 million, with total sales up 3.8 per cent to £1.1 billion in the 12 months to February 23. Online sales rose more than 30 per cent.

Primark, another low-price fashion retailer, reported similarly strong results for the first half. Sofie Willmott, a senior retail analyst at Global Data, said that Matalan’s advantage over Primark was its online presence and its use of reality stars in its advertising. She added that Matalan “should consider launching an edited range on third-party marketplaces such as Next or Asos”.

Jason Hargreaves, Matalan chief executive, said: “The business has performed very well this year, outperforming the market in what remains a tough retail climate.

“In uncertain times, we are well positioned in offering the great design, quality and value that appeals to savvy customers.“A very strong underlying sales, margin and cost management performance has enabled us to absorb a £39m currency headwind. This has delivered stability of Ebitda and an increase in profits before tax”