LONDON — Topshop and Topman were star performers in the fiscal year ended August 28 at Sir Philip Green’s Taveta Investments Ltd. Green said in a statement Thursday that both businesses produced “record turnover and profit” in the period.
Taveta, the privately-owned parent of Green’s Arcadia and BHS retail businesses, posted a 6.7 decline in profits to 142.3 million pounds, or $223.4 million, from 152.5 million pounds, or $239.3 million, due to higher taxes in the period. Pre-tax profits rose 6.42 percent to 213.2 million pounds, or $334.7 million, from 200.3 million pounds, or $314.5 million. All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the 12-month period.
Turnover at Taveta, which also owns retail brands Miss Selfridge, Wallis, and Dorothy Perkins, rose 40.3 percent to 2.78 billion pounds, or $4.36 billion, from 1.98 billion pounds, or $3.12 billion. Green said the new year was off to a positive start, with like-for-like sales in the first eleven weeks up one percent. However, he’s not sounding any trumpets: “I have to remain cautious, with increases in VAT rates, raw materials, and some wage inflation. I will, however, look to grow the business both at home and overseas,” he said.
In a telephone interview later in the day, Green said the 40 percent spike in revenue came chiefly from the combination of the Arcadia and Bhs businesses — they were consolidated into one company last year – and said the rise in operating profit was from keeping an eye on inventory and creating efficiencies during the year.
Going forward, Green said the one percent growth was an achievement. “If you’ve got any growth in these times, it’s not a bad thing,” he said, adding that he was looking at the upcoming austerity measures in the U.K. and the planned rise in VAT to 20 percent as business as usual. “This business is always a challenge. Tell me when it gets easy,” he said.
A report from Seymour Pierce research in London called the results “pretty good,” and broadly in line with market expectations. It said the one percent increase in the first 11 weeks of the new year were encouraging and achieved “despite a difficult economic backdrop.”