Belfast Telegraph

Fashion chain owner posts £22m profit after turnaround plan

The owner of fashion chains including Oasis, Coast, and Warehouse has posted a profit - just over a year after the brands faced an uncertain future.

Aurora Fashions was formed to buy the chains, after the collapse of former owner Mosaic and its Icelandic backer Baugur.

The company reported an operating profit of £22.6m in the 11 months to January 30, and said that its turnaround plan was ahead of schedule.

It reduced net debt during the period to £109m, and has taken steps to attract new customers through online operations and an overseas expansion drive.

Chief executive Mike Shearwood said: "I am delighted that the business has emerged in such great shape, we have built strong foundations for future growth, and exceeded the targets set when Aurora was founded."

During the period, Aurora paid out restructuring costs of £57.9m, including payments to a number of former suppliers of the Mosaic group, in order to ensure the continuation of their business.

In March, insurers agreed to reinstate cover to its suppliers, after it was cancelled during the banking crisis.

Mosaic, which owed an estimated £400m to the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, was put into administration, but the brands were immediately sold to a new company majority owned by Kaupthing and existing management. The move helped save around 8,700 jobs.