Belfast Telegraph

Mountain Warehouse scales new peaks with record Christmas trading figures

Outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse has notched up record Christmas trading, driven by a sharp rise in international sales.

The company said like-for-like sales rocketed 13.6% in the six-weeks to January 1, with international sales up 71%.

Total sales rose 28.8% and online revenue increased 31.8%.

Speaking to the Press Association, Mountain Warehouse founder and chief executive Mark Neale said there had been "no signs" of consumer confidence waning, despite economic uncertainty triggered by the Brexit vote and a torrid time for much of the high street.

He added: "Part of the reason for our success is down to a relentless focus on improvement, and it helps that I'm not some three year chief executive trying to make a quick buck.

"There's also been a huge focus on value for money."

The company served more than one million customers during the festive period who snapped up over 2.5 million items. Bestsellers included over 250,000 hats and pairs of gloves, 500,000 pairs of socks and 100,000 ski jackets.

Mountain Warehouse is now on course to rake in around £180 million in revenue this year, up 28% on the £141 million made in 2016.

In October, the firm warned the collapse in sterling will mean higher prices for shoppers, but Mr Neale said any hike will be "minimal".

"We haven't increased prices in five years and we don't want to. We've been working very hard to mitigate the fall in the value of the pound as much as we can, and because we are growing so fast we have been able to strike better deals with suppliers, so any price rises will be minimal," he said.

Last year, Mountain Warehouse also took plans for a stock market flotation off the table, with Mr Neale adding there are no current plans for another tilt.

The firm, which opened 34 more stores last year, also plans to ramp up expansion, with the aim of eventually having 300 UK stores and 300 international outlets.

It currently has more than 200 UK stores and 262 outlets in total spanning seven countries including the US, Poland, Ireland and Canada.

The group plans to open 20 new stores in the UK this year and recently set up shop in Lymington, Lewes, Dartmouth, Durham and Aviemore.

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