By  on October 26, 2007

LONDON — Operating profits at Topshop's parent company, Arcadia Group, rose 1.6 percent to 293.3 million pounds, or $574.5 million, on a 5.2 percent increase in sales to 1.9 billion pounds, or $3.72 billion, in the fiscal year ended Sept. 1.

This compares with operating profits at the private group, which is wholly owned by Sir Philip Green, of 288.6 million pounds, or $518 million, on sales of 1.8 billion pounds, or $3.23 billion, the previous year. Currency conversions were made at average exchange rates for the respective period.

Although Arcadia does not break out sales figures for Topshop, Green told WWD his fashion-led brands — Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge — were "absolutely" the strongest performers. Over the past seven weeks, sales at Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge were up 10 percent.

Green, who only releases partial results for the group, said Arcadia demonstrated a "very creditable performance" in one of the worst "nonsummers" in many years. He was referring to the unseasonable rain, flooding and cold temperatures that hung over Britain in June, July and August.

"We managed our way out of a very unpleasant 10 weeks," he said. "When you're knee-deep in water, what do you do? You can't trade in extreme conditions. And we don't sell flippers — not even fashionable ones."

In a research statement, Seymour Pierce called Arcadia's performance "solid" against a challenging backdrop. It said Green "must be pretty pleased, particularly as Arcadia has the biggest front-end exposure to fashion in the U.K. and cannot rely on other categories to make up any shortfall."

Green said the future looked bright.

"All the brands are well-positioned to grow both in the U.K. and internationally. In the U.K., we have already committed to opening in excess of 300,000 square feet of trading space in the coming year, and internationally, we are working with our franchise partners to open a further 70 outlets," he said.

He did not comment, however, on expansion plans in the U.S. As reported, Green plans to open three Topshop units in Manhattan in the near future.

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