Matalan weathers High Street storm

Matalan has reported sales rises of 3.2 per cent and a total revenue rise of 3.8 per cent to £1.1 billion.

However, the omnichannel fashion and homeware retailer’s results for the year ended 23 February also showed earnings before tax down from £104.5 million in 2018, to £102.4 million for the last 12 months.

For the 13 weeks to 23 February, total revenue was up 4.5 per cent, sales edged up 0.2 per cent, and earnings before tax were £14.8 million, versus £14.6 million during the same period last year.

A statement from the business noted that online channels saw growth of over 30 per cent during the period.

Chief executive Jason Hargreaves hailed the performance in “what remains a tough retail climate”. He stated: “Strong underlying sales, margin, and cost management performance have enabled us to absorb a £39 million currency headwind.

“Our strategy has added more choice to a strong core product offer while improving the shopping experience via refurbished store space and an enhanced online journey – we also continue to invest in infrastructure that helps us operate more efficiently.”

Hargreaves added: “We expect market conditions to continue to be very challenging, and so remain cautious for the year ahead, focussed on the execution of a strategy that is clearly working.”

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