Agent Provocateur back in black with £1.1m profits

By Rachael Taylor

Luxury lingerie label Agent Provocateur has clamoured its way back into the black with a set of full year results that have yielded a pre-tax profit of £1.1m.

Agent Provocateur, which has launched a bedding range last month to complement its offering of upmarket intimate apparel, posted a loss of £1.8m last year, but its most recent set of full-year financial results to March 26 show that underlying earnings before tax, interest and other financial charges have nearly trebled since then to £3.3m.

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Turnover at the group jumped 8% year on year to £26.7m, with like-for-like retail sales at its network of 55 stores – 33 own stores and concessions, plus 21 franchises – around the globe up 5% on last year thanks to new boutique openings in New York, Los Angeles, Prague, Seoul, Athens, Barbados and Manchester.

Agent Provocateur chief executive Garry Hogarth said: “Agent Provocateur has delivered record profits in a challenging retail environment. We are in a strong financial position to develop and expand the business following the success of our investment programme over the last year. Our new stores are performing strongly and we have a number of new openings in the pipeline. We remain confident in our strategy and will continue to invest in growing our business. The focus will now be on increasing the awareness of our brand and availability of all our collections."

The lingerie brand also provided a trading update for the five months to August 27, which showed that trading continues to be strong with turnover up 30% on the same period last year and retail sales up 11%.

Online sales are continuing to prove a key asset for the brand, which sells its full range through its own website agentprovocateur.com as well as a capsule collection through luxury e-tail site Net-a-Porter. Online channel sales for the recent period are up 58%.

Agent Provocateur is planning to continue its store opening programme in the next six months with stores scheduled to open in Miami, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid and Lausanne in Switzerland before March. The brand said it has additional store openings in the pipeline in the UK, Europe, US and Far East but declined to give exact details.

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