Belfast Telegraph

Fortnum & Mason takes the biscuit as sales and profits rise

Shoppers flocked to the department store for tea and biscuits.

Fortnum & Mason has unveiled rising sales and profits as the 300-year-old retailer reported a jump in sales of tea and biscuits.

Overall sales in the year ending July 2018 were up 12%, the company said, reaching £126 million.

Profits jumped £26% to £9.6 million.

This marks the sixth successive year of double-digit sales growth for Fortnum’s, as well as a rare bright spot in the troubled retail industry.

“This year has not been without its challenges, but we’re proud to report another exceptional trading period,” said chief executive Ewan Venters.

“By being faithful to our heritage and pedigree, focusing on the creation of extraordinary products and exceptional service, and delivering our world-renowned products to customers anywhere in the world, I am pleased that we are able to meet the growing demand for quality and impeccably-sourced products.”

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Fortnum and Mason’s food on display (PA)

Loose leaf tea and British biscuits both notched up sales rises of 21% during the period, as more consumers turned to the traditional department store for their afternoon tea supplies.

International growth also boosted the retailer, as Fortnum’s opened two new shops in South Korea.

Online shoppers from 125 countries ordered products, with a particularly strong 55% rise in orders to Hong Kong.

In the domestic UK market, like-for-like sales at the iconic Piccadilly flagship store rose 10% while the restaurant 45 Jermyn St was up 18%.

Earlier this month, Fortnum’s opened a new restaurant and shop at the Royal Exchange in the City of London.

Chairman Kate Hobhouse said: “London is, and always will be, a great place to do business, and we have taken the quality that Fortnum’s can offer to the beating heart of the City.”

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