Belfast Telegraph

Fashion retailer Paul Smith sees profits jump 18%

Upmarket fashion retailer Paul Smith has defied the economic downturn to deliver a sharp rise in annual profits, driven by a strong performance in the UK and overseas.

The company, founded by Sir Paul Smith, the legendary British designer, when he was in his teens, also posted a rise in turnover, despite a slip in wholesale orders.

Paul Smith unveiled an 18% uplift in pre-tax profits to £20.9m for the year ended June 30, 2010, according to Companies House.

The firm described the performance as "very pleasing given the challenging economic climate". Total sales inched up by 2% to £152.8m over the period.

Paul Smith, which has 15 UK shops, in addition to concessions in department stores, said: "The company continued to grow total sales with a reduction in wholesale orders being more than offset by increased retail sales resulting from new shops, as well as increased like-for-like sales in existing shops and the internet."

Sir Paul, who opened his first shop in Nottingham in 1970, sold a 40% stake in the company to Japanese licensee Itochu in 2006, but he retained control.

The company has stores in Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham as well as an outlet at the Brown Thomas department store in Dublin.