Belfast Telegraph

Bond girl and Duchess help fashion brand walk into profits

By Annabelle Dickson

High-end fashion brand LK Bennett revealed a surge in sales last year as its shoes continued to prove a hit with shoppers.

The chain, which unveiled Bond girl Rosamund Pike as its new face last week, posted a 15% jump in turnover to £94.1m in the year to July 28, as it also shifted more handbags.

The fashion favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, which has 51 standalone shops in the UK as well as in-store outlets, said underlying earnings jumped 37% to £11m in the period.

The group, which was renowned for its kitten heel shoes in the 1990s, said it would continue to focus on growing sales of its accessories, including shoes and bags.

LK Bennett, which was founded by Linda Bennett in 1990, said online sales continued to be a major driver of growth, with its website now generating more than three times the annual sales of its flagship London store.

The group, which was bought by private equity groups Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity in 2008, also opened a new concession in Harvey Nichols last May.

LK Bennett, which does not disclose like-for-like sales figures, said its international expansion was also a strong driver of growth.

It opened four standalone shops in the US last year, including a flagship store in the Time Warner Centre in New York, and it plans to launch a US website in the spring.

It also opened five shops across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar.