By  on June 28, 2007

LONDON — The trend for dresses and the success of new accessories lines helped British clothing label Jaeger's operating profits climb by 45 percent to 5 million pounds, or $9.9 million, from 3.5 million pounds, or $6.9 million, in the year to February, the company said Wednesday.

Sales rose 22 percent to 706 million pounds, or $1.4 billion.

"This has been an extremely significant year for the ongoing revival of the Jaeger brand," said Belinda Earl, the company's chief executive officer, in a statement.

Since she was appointed ceo in 2004, Earl has worked to revitalize the 123-year-old brand. The company has updated its men's and women's collections and launched two lines, Jaeger London, a more contemporary collection for men and women, and Jaeger Black, a higher end line.

"[The new brands] are aimed at a more modern consumer," said Earl. "Our customer wants to be kept up-to-date, but she wants fashion to enhance her and trends to be interpreted for her."

The company has also embarked on a program of store openings and refurbishment and has 137 stores and shop-in-shops across the U.K. and Europe. Earlier this year, Jaeger signed a franchise deal with Royal Sporting House to open stores in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

And in November, the brand will take another step, returning to the North American market with a collection designed exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue, set to retail in 11 Saks stores. "It will take the core elements of the brand, and include a lot of knit pieces and layered dressing," said Earl. Prices for the line will start at $200, with most pieces retailing between $300 and $400. Earl added that the company was actively looking for retail sites in North America, to add to a shop-in-shop unit Jaeger opened last year in the Ogilvy department store in Montreal.

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