Boden sees progress as dresses prove popular again, US growth is strong
British fashion brand Boden drove sales and profits higher last year with the company releasing its 2021 results on Tuesday and saying its improvement came as “dresses returned to the top of the bestseller list”.
The group said sales rose a “robust” 7.4% (or 11% at constant exchange rates) to £357.4 million and pre-tax profit jumped to £22.1 million from £18.5 million. This was driven both by the sales rise as well as operational efficiencies, despite incremental cost increases associated with Brexit and international freight.
It saw a “good performance” from both womenswear and kidswear, especially in the US where sales grew 20%.
Overall, the womenswear market “returned to a more normal trading pattern, driven by the US recovery” and, as mentioned, dresses were top sellers.
That said, like much of the rest of the fashion retail sector, the benefits of reduced returns rates during Covid “started to unwind over the course of the year”.
But its strength in the US market was key and it saw a 47% increase in new customers there, driven by a push for digital customer recruitment.
It also boosted its sustainability credentials with all of its cashmere products adhering to the Good Cashmere Standard, all of its Alpaca wool coming from a traceable source and all of its merino wool being non-mulesed. It also stopped using plastic sequins and installed solar panels on the top of its UK warehouse.
The company added that sales growth has continued this year, although in the first half, sales were up a small 2%. But the business “continues to recover well, particularly in the US where sales were up 19%”, although this was ‘only’ +10% at constant exchange rates.
Founder and creative director Johnnie Boden said: “I am delighted that Boden’s womenswear and childrenswear ranges continue to attract increasing numbers of new customers, inspired by a brand that is stylish, exciting and relevant. There remain huge opportunities both at home and abroad as we roll out our refreshed strategy. I firmly believe we have the right blend of talents in the company to make the future very exciting.”
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