Business has boomed at Robert Dyas following its acquisition by former ‘Dragon’s Den’ star Theo Paphitis.
For the year to March 30, operating profits for the homeware retailet soared 353% to £4.89 million from £1.1m. Like-for-like sales were up 11.2% and turnover increased by 8% to £114.4m.
Robert Dyas chairman Theo Paphitis said: “There’s no doubt in my mind that in the current economic and retail environment this was a great achievement by all involved at Robert Dyas, especially when you take into account when I bought the business [in July 2012] three months into this reported financial period, it was 4% down on like-for-like income.
“The response from the management team, colleagues and trading partners since then has been excellent and, together with the removal of the debt burden, allows us to focus on providing to our customers exactly what they value Robert Dyas for.”
Speaking of his departure from the BBC hit show ‘Dragons’ Den’, he commented: “Being a shopkeeper is what I do best, and my success in retail was why I was asked to appear in the Den in the first place.
“So when it became clear that my focus and time had to be fully committed to turning around the new business (as well as pushing forward our international ambitions for [lingerie chain] Boux Avenue, I reluctantly gave up my seat in the Den.
“Whilst of course I miss ‘Dragons’ Den’, I believe that the progress we are making all round has fully vindicated and rewarded that decision.”
Looking at trading in the last three months and the year ahead, he added: “The launch of the Robert Dyas catalogue in May is receiving a positive and very exciting response, allowing us to reach new regions across the UK – not only for online business but also for potential bricks and mortar sites in the future.
“Current trading continues to perform well with like-for-like sales growth in stores and online, particularly in the outdoor and garden sector as the country enjoys a sustained period of warm weather, suggesting to me that Robert Dyas really can be a man for all seasons to our customers.”
Headquartered in the Surrey town of Leatherhead, Robert Dyas operates 100 stores spread across the South of England varying in size from 9,000sq ft to 1,250sq ft.