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FatFace still smiling amid tough trading on UK high street

The retail chain has posted growth in sales and earnings.


FatFace has achieved strong growth in its high street and online sales (PA)

FatFace has achieved strong growth in its high street and online sales (PA)

FatFace has achieved strong growth in its high street and online sales (PA)

FatFace has celebrated a lift in sales and earnings despite warning that conditions on the UK high street are unlikely to improve in the near future.

Sales increased by 7.4% to £238.4 million in the 52 weeks to June 2, representing like-for-like growth of 4.9% across the chain.

Online sales, which make up close to 20% of FatFace’s revenue, climbed 11.8% year-on-year.

The Hampshire-based business said its womenswear lines had driven the sales growth.

FatFace’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 5.6% to £30.2 million.

The company’s chief executive warned that the UK retail environment had been tough and there was “no prospect” of an improvement in the near term.

The retailer, which has 216 stores in the UK and 17 internationally, has been expanding in the US with five new stores, and has further growth plans across the pond.

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Chief executive Anthony Thompson said: “The current retail environment remains difficult and there appears to be no prospect of conditions improving in the short term.

“We will continue to be focused on quality, design and price integrity and will seek to continue the positive momentum in today’s results in the coming 12 months.”

FaceFace’s positive update comes at a torrid time for the UK high street.

Several retailers have fallen into administration this year, with Toys R Us and Maplin disappearing from the high street.

A host of household names have also been shutting stores and cutting jobs to save on costs.

On Tuesday, Homebase confirmed it was closing another 42 stores, leading to the loss of up to 1,500 jobs.

Mr Thompson said: “The implementation of our longer-term strategy is on course.

“Expansion in the US continued and the business there is trading strongly. With the initial market trial concluded, we are now undertaking a measured roll-out programme.”

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