Mata­lan de­fies gloom as sales rise

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Greg Wright DEPUTY BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR @greg­wrightyp

Mata­lan has de­fied the gloom on the high street with ris­ing rev­enues in the first quar­ter of its fi­nan­cial year.

For the 13 weeks ended May 26, the cloth­ing re­tailer’s to­tal rev­enues grew five per cent from £253.4 mil­lion to £265.9 mil­lion. On­line sales rose 39 per cent.

Earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, tax, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­sa­tion were up 11 per cent to £24.8 mil­lion.

Mata­lan chief ex­ec­u­tive Ja­son Har­g­reaves said: “Our first quar­ter rep­re­sents a strong set of re­sults. Good stock man­age­ment, flex­i­bil­ity in our op­er­at­ing model and agility in our cus­tomer con­tact strat­egy helped us out­per­form a volatile mar­ket.

“Thanks to the hard work of our col­leagues, we con­tinue to de­liver con­sis­tently for cus­tomers and can be pleased with our per­for­mance.”

He said he does not ex­pect the UK’s re­tail en­vi­ron­ment to im­prove.

Re­tail­ers have been hit with costs from weaker ster­ling, along­side ris­ing busi­ness rates and labour costs.

“Cur­rency pres­sures on op­er­at­ing mar­gins are on­go­ing,” he said.

“We are there­fore cau­tious in our out­look but con­fi­dent that our strat­egy is de­liv­er­ing for cus­tomers which po­si­tions us well.”

Mr Har­g­reaves took home £1.5 mil­lion last year af­ter se­cur­ing a suc­cess­ful re­fi­nanc­ing pack­age for Mata­lan, which has 227 stores in the UK.

Ac­counts filed at Com­pa­nies House show that Mata­lan’s high­est-paid di­rec­tor, thought to be Mr Har­g­reaves, earned a £900,000 bonus on top of a ba­sic pay of £600,000.

Pre-tax profit for the year to Fe­bru­ary 24 more than dou­bled to £20 mil­lion.

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