By  on May 15, 2018

LONDON — Sales and profits at Taveta Investments Ltd., parent of fashion retailers including Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge, declined in the 12 months to August 2017, the company said Tuesday.Profit from continuing operations at the holding company owned by Sir Philip Green fell to 71.6 million pounds from 139.1 million pounds, due to a combination of factors, including the slowdown in sales and an exceptional charge from onerous leases and the revaluation of investment properties.Turnover dropped 5.3 percent to 1.9 billion pounds due in large part to a slowdown in footfall that’s been impacting high-street retailers up and down the U.K. Despite the challenges, the company said it is continuing to invest — in a new distribution center and in its e-commerce platform in particular.Taveta’s chief executive officer Ian Grabiner said while the board found headline sales and profits “disappointing,” the company remains strongly cash-generative and had a positive net cash balance at yearend of 157.2 million pounds.He said worldwide digital sales were up 11.5 percent versus last year and the increase has been taking place at the expense of traditional brick-and-mortar retailing.As a result of the sea changes sweeping through retail, Taveta is responding with investment. Grabiner said the company spent 124.9 million pounds in the year ended Aug. 26, 2017 and has a projected spend of 81.5 million pounds this year.It is also developing a 1 million-net-square-foot distribution center in Daventry, Northamptonshire, England, which is set to open in 2019, and making “significant developments” to its digital platform.“We look to be as efficient as we can be given the challenging retail environment,” said Grabiner.He also nodded to the appointment last year of Paul Price as ceo of Topshop and Topman. “Paul has assembled a strong team around him, with key external appointees in design, creative, buying and merchandising.”He said Taveta has built “excellent partnerships” with Zalando and Nordstrom for wholesale. Last year, the company also inked a deal with Kylie Jenner, becoming the first brick-and-mortar retailer to carry the Kylie Cosmetics range.

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