Zakti and global sales help Mountain Warehouse to happy first half
Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Mountain Warehouse has had a good half year, despite tough times for the UK retail sector as a whole. And it expects the cash registers to keep ringing with the effects of inflation likely to lessen in the months ahead, with range extensions and global expansion.
The UK company turned in an 18% pre-tax profits rise for the period to August 27, hitting £4.7 million as it opened 18 new stores both at home and in countries including Ireland, Poland and Canada.
The results illustrate the resilience of the outdoor sector in the face of tough times as its sales overall rose 19.3% to a record £91.6 million. It was the international ops that grew fastest, with a rise of 50% and now making up a quarter of the brand’s total.
The company has 270 stores (70 of them outside the UK) but is also growing its e-tail operation strongly and e-sales were up 18.5% in the six months. The firm has benefitted from launching country-specific websites in Australia, Canada, the US, Germany, Poland and France
Its CEO Mark Neale also revealed plans to expand its younger brand Zakti into Mountain Warehouse branded stores. "We believe this will help widen our appeal still further and reach new customers,” he said. Zakti was a major success for the firm in the first half as it capitalised on the on-going athleisure trend.
He added that the firm is looking at moving into new territories, including the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. It will also grow its UK store estate further and will expand the online offer. Ten more new stores will open by the end of its financial year.
Neale also said that he believes the worst effects of inflation, caused by the pound’s plunge after he Brexit vote, have passed and that the company has already been able to reduce some regular prices.
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