Housewares help Beales weather economic storm

Housewares enjoyed good sales growth at department store chain Beales, the company said as it released its half-year results.
The 26 weeks to May 2 saw revenue remain broadly stable, dipping to £26.7m from £26.8m in the same period last year, despite “extremely difficult high street trading conditions”.

Profit after tax for the period declined by £30,000 to £543,000.

However, chairman Mike Killingley singled out housewares as having put in a good performance. He said: “The weaker performance of our concessions compared with own-bought reflects the fall into administration of a number of high sales value concessions, including…Royal Worcester.

“Many of our own-bought areas have shown good sales growth, notably housewares, linens and menswear.”

The company said that concession sales had dropped by 6% in the period.

Killingley said he expected the challenging trading conditions to continue into the second half. “The key to improving the fortunes of your group remains to increase sales while improving margins.

“We are continuing to pursue an aggressive promotional strategy, growing our buying-in margins and focusing on cost control. When the economic environment improves we are confident that the action being taken will enable us to restore the group to full-year profitability,” he added.

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