• FY operating profit reaches GBP251.6m (US$266m)
  • Total sales edge up slightly to GBP2.07bn
  • Like-for-like sales fall 0.7%

UK retail giant Arcadia Group said ensuring it has a well-audited supply chain will remain a priority as it revealed an increase in earnings for the full year, but a decline in like-for-like sales. 

The fashion group, which owns the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, and Wallis brands, said total operating profit, before goodwill and exceptional items, grew to GBP251.6m (US$266m) from GBP238.4m a year earlier. 

Total sales edged up slightly to GBP2.07bn from GBP2.03bn a year earlier, while like-for-like sales fell 0.7%. Underlying UK retail like-for-like sales were down 0.9% versus last year. Total worldwide digital sales, however, were up 23.9%.

The results, for continuing operations, exclude the loss-making BHS which Arcadia sold to Retail Acquisitions in March.

Sir Philip Green said: "We are pleased once again to report strong cash generation of GBP328m, against the background of the fast changing retail industry. The number of channels through which customers choose to purchase and engage with us continually evolves, thus increasing the complexity of our operations. Hence our continued investment in the business as our need for efficiency and speed to market is paramount."

Arcadia opened five new Topshop/Topman stores in the US during the fiscal, taking the total to nine. Some 34 new overseas franchise outlets for the retail brand were also opened.

"Tight stock management remains a priority across the group, alongside an effective and well-audited supply chain," Green added. "We remain passionate about delivering relevant, exciting and well-priced ranges – giving our customers constant newness of product and digital content."

In the first ten weeks of this year, total VAT inclusive of like-for-like sales were down 2.3% versus last year.