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TM Lewin continues international expansion ahead of sale

TM Lewin is continuing its international retail roll out as it prepares to sell a stake in the business.

The shirt company will open at least one new store or concession every week for the next three years, with 35 store openings planned in India with franchise partner, retailer BMI, and 46 shops earmarked for South Africa through Edcon, which owns the Edgars department stores.

Further stores will open across the Far East in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and The Philippines, as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Nigeria and the Czech Republic. The group is also looking at potential expansion into China, Japan and the US.

The moves follows the appointment of KPMG to oversee the sale of the business in July, which could value the company at £100m.

In its most recent accounts, turnover for the year to March 2 were only marginally ahead at £106.7m compared to £106.5m in 2012. EBITDA for the period fell to £10.1m from £12m in 2012 due to investment in new store openings, higher cotton prices and energy input costs.

Chief executive Geoff Quinn said the brand is performing better this year due to lower input costs and a “significantly enhanced product range”. Turnover in the first six months of 2013 was ahead 4% and EBITDA up by 77% year-on-year.

Quinn added: “Clearly our brand is well known within the international business community and this has given us a lot of confidence with our plans. Following on from a period of higher input costs which impacted margins, we have had a great bounce back primarily driven by very strong online sales and a whole new range of product that has caught the imagination of our customers.”

T.M.Lewin currently has 91 retail stores in the UK, which still represents 81% of total sales at the company.

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