• FY losses narrow to GBP7m 
  • Gross margin falls 2% y-o-y
  • Total sales grow 6%, LFL sales up 8%

Jaeger has narrowed its losses and grown its sales in what the upscale UK fashion brand described as a "steady" year.

For the 52 weeks ended 28 February, losses after tax narrowed to GBP7m (US$10.5m) from GBP9.9m in the same period a year earlier. However, mild weather in September and October meant greater promotional activity was required to clear stocks, resulting in a margin decline of 2% year-on-year.

Total sales were up 6% to GBP84.2m from GBP79.4m a year earlier, while like-for-like sales climbed 8%.

Since February, GBP10m of funding has been provided by investors Better Capital, which has been used to invest in Jaeger's multichannel capability, including website and IT system upgrades, refurbishing and opening new stores, development of the brand and product ranges, and to fund working capital.

Jaeger said initial results of the multi-channel investment are encouraging, with traffic and sales volumes through online up year-on-year. Mobile and tablet sales now comprise 36% of all online sales, from 29% previously.

"Jaeger continues to actively reshape its store portfolio, focusing on locations more appropriate to the brand and exiting a small number of onerous leases," it said in an update. "The company intends to retain a broadly similar number of stores over the next three years through new store openings, relocations and exiting a small number of loss-making stores, in addition to building its digital presence."

In October, it was reported that Better Capital, which took control of Jaeger in 2012, was exploring options for the brand, including a potential sale, after receiving interest in the business. 

Jaeger owner exploring sale?

A month earlier, CEO Colin Henry stepped down mid-way through the group's turnaround plan and four months after the departure of its chairman.

Jaeger chief executive Colin Henry steps down