Jigsaw upbeat as sales, profits improve and it starts new expansion phase
Robinson Webster (Holdings) has published its results for the year to the end of January 2022 with the company that controls the Jigsaw brand saying the directors are pleased with its performance in the period. It also said it has ambitious growth plans that include international expansion and new stores.
Jigsaw has faced some major challenges in recent years, not least of them the pandemic that saw its stores closed and much of the smart clothing it sells being left on the shelves in favour of much more casual options.
But it adapted fast and clearly began to recover, with the most recent year being a stronger one, despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic during the year.
The group delivered profit on an EBITDA basis of £2.8 million, which may not be huge for a company of its size, but is much better than the loss of £18.7 million the previous year. It also saw an operating profit of £1.2 million compared to a previous loss of £21 million. But its net profit figure was actually a loss of almost £1.3 million, albeit that was a vast improvement on the £8.7 million deficit of the previous year.
This came as revenue at the 52-year-old business rose, the margin improved and costs were reduced. Revenue reached £47.681 million, up from £38.691 million a year earlier.
And the company expects this process to continue with 2022 performing in line with expectations so far. It also has what it calls "ambitious growth and profit targets" for the current year.
It explained that with retail stores closed for the first quarter of its latest financial year (the period until April 2021), it used the down-time to complete its restructure and clear through excess stock.
This left it with a leaner cost base when physical stores reopened a little over a year ago. It was clearly the right thing to do as it added that during the year, its retail stores outperformed expectations with its customers quick to return to physical shopping and underlining how important a physical presence is for the brand.
The company's restructuring process saw it reduce its estate from 56 of its own stores at the start of the period to 43 by the end. Not that it's planning to keep the estate at this low number and it said it's now started to rebuild its store portfolio, focusing on key locations. And it's refitting many stores as well.
The company also re-platformed its website via Shopify Plus without any interruption to trading, as well as doing lots of research into what its target customer wants and starting to sell its products via M&S and Next.
It added that for the future, its focus will continue to be on its womenswear business, plus building on its digital capabilities, expanding its store portfolio and returning to international expansion.
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