British fashion company Jacques Vert reported a pre-tax profit of £3.7 million for the year ended 29 April. Last year, pre-tax profits amounted to £600,000 as the company dealt with the acquisition of William Baird in 2002. “The year just ended has seen significant progress for the group,” said Chairman Derek Lovelock. “In particular, the resolution of the pension deficit and industrial disease legacy issues marks an important milestone in the group’s development. Releasing around £3 million of cash each year previously required to fund these liabilities will facilitate a greater level of investment in our key women’s wear brands.”

The company revealed that the retail division had had a tough year, due to the loss of concession outlets following the administration of Allders Department Stores in January 2005. Weak demand in the women’s wear sector had also affected the company adversely. The tide appears to be turning however. The first 11 weeks of this fiscal year saw same-store sales gain 4.9 percent, while overall sales rose 8.5 percent. The company said that it continued to work on improving the performance of the wholesale division, concentrating on the development of key markets and the improvement of the supply chain.

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