Luxury retailer Matches saw revenue falling 1.68% in the year to January, hitting £380.1 million as factors including Brexit, cautious consumers and rising interest rates all weighed on its performance.
It was also affected by the business changing from wholesale to concessions for a number of key labels in the previous financial year.
But orders rose 12% before cancellations and returns as occasionwear bounced back with a rise to £758.2 million from £677.1 million a year earlier.
That said, the company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss wider than the £25 million of a year ago at £33.7 million, although the gross profit margin rose to 33.5% from 32.7%. The operating loss was £67.2 million, compared to a loss of £37.5 million in the previous year.
The company also suggested that the current financial year, which ends next January has shown an improvement in key markets such as the UK and US.
Nick Beighton, the former ASOS chief who took the helm at Matches part-way through the financial year that these results cover, said: “We know we have more work to do in what is a tough environment, [but] we are on the right track with our turnaround plan and confident in our actions to transform Matches into a stronger, more profitable business.”
The company, which is controlled by private equity firm Apax, has shaken up its management team since Paolo de Cesare stepped down as the latest in a succession of CEOs and was replaced by Beighton, who seems to have a handle on what needs to be done to drive the turnaround. He’s named new chiefs in finance, commercial and product/technology.
He has a three-year turnaround plan and believes Matches is making “good progress” and is in good shape to face the all-important festive season.
He’s also said that next year will see the firm sharpening up its brand portfolio and reducing brand numbers. They’ve already dropped from 800 to 600 and should be refined down to around 450 by the end of next year.
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