UK fashion company Marchpole Holdings said that despite a difficult trading year and making a substantial loss at the full-year, it has made significant progress in all parts of its business during the period.

The company, whose brands include Emanuel Ungaro, Ungaro Homme, HomeBody and HomeMummy, made a loss after taxation of GBP5.4m (US$10.6m) for the 53 weeks ended 5 April 2008, from profits of GBP4.2m last year.

Marchpole chairman Christopher Phillips said the company was committed to strengthening its presence on an international platform. It now operates in all major fashion markets of Continental and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, as well as the UK.

Post the period end, Marchpole successfully agreed terms with leading Korean distributor, Hanamel Group for the distribution of its Emanuel Ungaro first line menswear collection throughout South Korea. The contract is worth EUR5.2m and has been signed for an initial period of five-years, extendable for a further five years, which sees the company open a new Emanuel Ungaro flagship store in Seoul in 2009.

During last year the company also signed an exclusive agreement with global denim brand Lee Cooper to launch the first and only premium denim lines offered by Lee Cooper. Additionally, it signed a long term agreement with headwear company New Era.

The luxury brand management business said in its outlook that it is well positioned in all key retail markets to deliver better financial performance during the longer term, and added that it is in the process of signing a major new joint venture with "one of the world's leading fashion design houses" to be announced imminently.