UK: Kurt Geiger trading buoyant, 2006 growth plans
Luxury shoe company Kurt Geiger said it enjoyed strong trading between 1 August and 31 December 2005, with a particularly pleasing Christmas period.
Net sales in the five-month period jumped 12% compared to the same period a year ago, as the retailer opened four new outlets.
Same-store sales grew 5.4%, with December trading leading to a 6% same-store increase. Geiger said it had also recorded substantial improvement in its margin compared to last year.
All units of the business performed strongly, but concessions within Harrods, Selfridges, Fenwick and airports did especially well. The company said the luxury segment of the market is especially robust at the moment.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation are expected to be significantly higher than last year for the year ended January 2006.
Chief executive Neil Clifford commented: "Kurt Geiger goes from strength to strength. 2005 was a significant year for the company as we completed a management buyout backed by Barclays Private Equity, took our first steps overseas and entered new partnerships.
"We also successfully launched the Kurt Geiger online shop with the intention of being the number one luxury shoe website in Europe."
Clifford continued: "We now plan to build on these successes in 2006. We are accelerating our store rollout programme in prime locations across the UK, creating new partnerships with new brands and new business partners, expanding into the fast-growing accessories market and pursuing further international expansion. We are extremely confident that 2006 will be a year of significant growth."
Kurt Geiger is the largest wholesaler of Gucci and Prada in Europe and has more than 70 brands in its portfolio, including Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Versace, Church's, John Lobb and Christian Louboutin.
The company has 87 trading locations with more than 70 concessions with leading department stores.
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