Fred Perry profits rise despite sales dip
Sports lifestyle label Fred Perry saw its sales dipping 2% in the year to March 31 with the British brand seeing sales of £110.8 million, down from £113 million year earlier.
The 65 year-old label has been owned by Japan’s Hit Union since 1995 and the owners paid themselves an increased dividend, rising to £11.3 million from £7.8 million. That higher payout was the result of increase profits as the company cut costs and saw generally lower expenses.
Net profit rose to £16.1 million, up from £15.3 million a year earlier while pre-tax profit rose to £20.2 million from £19.3 million. The company also increased the cash on its books to £13.6 million from £5.2 million, an important fact as weak cash flow can be a problem for otherwise-buoyant businesses. And as of March 31, the company had total net assets of almost £90 million and no debt.
But clearly with turnover down, there are issues to address. Fred Perry, which was founded in 1952 by the former Wimbledon tennis champion, said sales in the UK and Europe were flat during the 12-month period. Even worse, they fell as much as 6% in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and North America.
It gave no reason for the decline but said it plans to continue focusing on building the Fred Perry brand by improving the “quality and depth” of its product offer across men’s, women’s, footwear, accessories and kidswear.
It also plans to continue heavily marketing the brand through initiatives such as its deal with cycling star Bradley Wiggins. And as well as sports star links, the company is continuing its pop culture associations with other celebrity hook-ups. It has been heavily associated with the music scene and youth culture since the 1960s and is continuing this tradition with its newest collaboration, launched late last year, being with musician Miles Kane.
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