Belfast Telegraph

Prices will rise next year after sterling collapse warns Fortnum & Mason boss

The boss of upmarket retailer Fortnum & Mason has warned that prices will rise next year as a result of the collapse in sterling.

Ewan Venters told the Press Association that there is "no avoiding" shop price inflation as rising costs take their toll.

"Retailers are nervous about the role of inflation, it definitely poses a threat and absolutely, prices will rise next year, there's no avoiding it. We won't be alone.

"Although our suppliers might be UK based, when you look at the ingredients mix, the packaging mix, it's sourced from all over the world, so we can't get away from currency movements. Of course, we'll try and mitigate against that," he said.

Mr Venters was speaking alongside Fortnum & Mason's full-year results, which saw profits rise 27% to £6.2 million on sales of £98.7 million, driven by online growth.

However, the chief executive also said that there would be opportunities linked to the weaker pound, including inward tourism and exports.

This, and the firm's international operations, will help offset any potential downturn in the UK market, according to Mr Venters.

He said: "Uncertainty makes our job more challenging, but then consumers look for better value, a great product and reassurance when they spend.

"Current trading, post the Brexit vote, continues to be strong."

Fortnum & Mason will also continue to explore international opportunities, with Mr Venters saying Donald Trump's election victory in the US will not stop the firm scoping out a potential New York outlet.