Cost cuts push Karen Millen’s Irish business back to profit

Sales of clothing, accessories and footwear flat but firm turns to digital business for growth

Clothes hang on the rack at a Karen Millen clothing store.  Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

Clothes hang on the rack at a Karen Millen clothing store. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

 

The Irish arm of clothing retailer Karen Millen returned to profit as its digital business grew, despite a difficult retail environment and static sales.

In newly filed accounts, the company said sales for 52-week period from February 28th 2016 to February 25th 2017 were €5.9 million, the same as the prior year. Profit was €200,000 for the year, compared with breaking even a year earlier.

With sales remaining flat, profit was realised through cutting costs. The Irish subsidiary reduced its cost of sales by €100,000 to €2.4 million, and cut distribution costs to €3.3 million, compared with €3.4 million a year earlier.

Karen Millen Ireland has been on a quest to transform its business in recent times, concentrating its digital business as it invested in a new web platform. In the accounts, the company said its principal activity remains selling “beautifully crafted women’s clothing, footwear and accessories”.

The group also appointed a new chief executive and chief financial officer during the period.

Staff costs for the year were just under €1 million. Karen Millen Ireland employs 63 people through a network of retail outlets.

The company is owned by defunct Icelandic bank Kaupthing.