Belfast Telegraph

Shoe Zone first-half profits rocket

The group posted a pre-tax profit of £955,000 in the six months to March 31.

Retailer Shoe Zone has defied the gloom on the high street by more than trebling profits in the first half of the year.

The group posted a pre-tax profit of £955,000 in the six months to March 31, compared with £309,000 in the same period in 2017.

Revenue grew 1.1% to £73.7 million as boss Nick Davis hailed the firm’s lease management strategy and “measured” new openings of core and Big Box stores.

Mr Davis also said Shoe Zone has been able to take “advantage of the favourable retail rental environment”, a reference to the wider malaise afflicting the sector.

Retailers such as Maplin and Toys R Us have collapsed this year, with several others undertaking sweeping stores closure programmes.

As a result, better-performing businesses have become emboldened when renewing lease contracts with landlords.

Shoe Zone’s rent on renewals fell on average by 22% in the period, equivalent to a full-year saving of £100,000.

“Trading momentum has continued into the second half, in line with expectations for the full year.

“With our growth strategy in place, we believe we are favourably insulated against many of the structural sector issues and the board remains confident of the outlook for Shoe Zone,” Mr Davis said.

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.