Belfast Telegraph

Inflation has peaked, says chief of outdoor clothing firm as it posts 20% profits boost

By Ben Woods

The boss of outdoor clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse said the UK's surging inflation has peaked as he unveiled a near-20% rise in half-year profits.

Chief executive Mark Neale said he was not surprised that inflation held steady last month and said some of the firm's price tags were already starting to fall.

He said: "I think inflation has peaked. I certainly see no more inflation in the system from our point of view and I cannot see much more currency-related inflation in anybody else's (businesses) really."

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was widely expected to reach 3.1% in October, up from 3% in September, intensifying the squeeze on consumer spending power ahead of the Christmas season.

Instead, CPI held steady at 3%, leaving economists split on whether inflation has finally topped out or will continue to push higher, with the Bank of England forecasting the cost of living to reach 3.2% during the autumn.

It comes as Mountain Warehouse brushed aside the woes enveloping the British high street, lifting pre-tax profits 18% to £4.7m and opening 18 new stores in the UK and overseas.

Sales rose 19% to a record £91.6m for the six months to August 27, with its international business proving a standout performer. Sales surged 50%, counting for around 25% of total revenues.

The retailer, which has more than 270 shops and employs 2,250 people, said online sales climbed 19%.

Belfast Telegraph

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