Jun 25, 2010
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Matalan year profit jumps 29 pct

Jun 25, 2010

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - British budget fashion retailer Matalan, which abandoned a sale process in February and then raised fresh debt capital in April, posted a 29 percent rise in underlying full-year profit, with sales and margins both rising.


The out of town retailer, owned by the family of founder John Hargreaves, said on Friday it made adjusted EBITDA

(earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of 186.5 million pounds ($279.2 million) in the year to Feb. 27, up from 145.1 million pounds in the 2008-09 year.

Matalan, which trades from 205 UK stores and three overseas franchises, said revenue increased 8 percent to 1.12 billion pounds, with sales at stores open over a year rising 6.7 percent and gross margin up 1.4 percentage points to 49.2 percent.

"We have benefited from our investment over the last three years in our product, our stores and our people," said Chief Executive Alistair McGeorge, adding the market "remains challenging".

Having called off a process that could have seen Hargreaves sell the business to private equity, Matalan completed a 525 million pounds debt capital raising in April. Hargreaves then paid himself a 250 million pounds dividend. [nLDE6192F0] [nLDE63008Q]

Matalan did not comment on trading since the end of February.

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