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Rebrand investment hits Karen Millen's bottom line

Karen Millen’s pre-tax losses doubled from £2.7m to £6.1m in the year to March 2014.

Operating profits increased by 27% to £2.8m however EBITDA fell from £13.7m to £10.2m following a number of investments, such as a brand relaunch and improvements to its marketing strategy, including an autumn 13 campaign shot by David Bailey. It also opened its first flagship in Knightsbridge, London, in April last year.

Sales dipped from £259m to £256m, but the retailer’s decision to switch to a full-price trading model lifted its gross margin by 1 percentage point to 59%.

Chief executive Mike Shearwood said: “We’re pleased with our performance given the level of investment we made in the business during the year to position Karen Millen for future growth. 

“We’re continuing to make exciting changes on a number of fronts, particularly around the multichannel brand experience and new store formats, designed to create a client experience which will stand out among retailers.”

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