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EWM posts rise in pre-tax profits

Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) has reported a 61% increase in pre-tax profit in its first set of results that include Jane Norman.

EWM, which acquired the young fashion business in June 2011, generated pre-tax profits of £20.2m in the full-year to February 25,2012, significantly up from £12.5m in the previous full-year.

The results, filed at Companies House last week, include the performance of EWM and Jane Norman as well as the group’s textile business Duvetco and golfing equipment wholesale business Proquip.

However value retailer Peacocks, which EWM acquired in February, was not included.

The group did not split results by the individual fascias, but said its mainstream clothing business actually generated profits of £24.7m. Turnover for this division was £161.7m, up from £160.3m the previous year.

Like for like sales were down, although the results did not specify by how much.

Tighter cost control during the period meant that pre-tax profit represented a higher percentage of turnover than in 2011 at 15.3% compared to 13.2% the prior year.

The company said it had worked closely with suppliers to minimise the impact on input costs particularly when it came to wool, cotton and cashmere prices.

In its directors report, the group said: “Despite the challenging trading environment, the EWM group continues to build a strong position in each of the markets in which it operates.”

A further 18 EWM stores were opened during the period, taking the total number in the UK to 372. Jane Norman operates across 154 stores.

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